As the leaves increasingly fall and the warm weather soon leaves us, it would be a shame to not take a minute or two to reflect on our summer in downtown Charlotte. Though the summer season always seems a tad abbreviated, our downtown made the most of it in so many ways, and for that, we all should be very proud and excited.

Perhaps the best way to summarize downtown’s summer success is to recognize that during a very “normal” week in August, the sounds and scenes of construction and renovation throughout downtown were treated as “normal.” The hammers and lifts and paint brushes working on the façades of Charlotte Shoe Repair and the Yarn Garden, the expansion of Eaton Pub & Grille, the relocation of Captain’s Cabinetry, the extension of Shetenhelm C.P.A., the renovations of upper floor apartments and more, depict the commitment our downtown has to continuous improvement. The newest restaurant, the Dolson; the beginning of new outdoor gathering places at the Congregational Commons and the Pocket Park; a newly reconstructed section of Lovett Street … the list goes on and on. This summer was also the first of many hopeful seasons for new businesses such as Dragonfly Boutique and the Flipping Redhead, and Creatively MI. It marked the inception of the redevelopment of the IGA building and the old National Bank building, as well as special attractions such as “Ladies in the ‘Lotte” and “Keys in the City” that continue to bring people downtown.

It is through triumphs such as these, no matter the scale, by which we are able to move closer to cultivating a vibrant and enduring downtown – one in which our community praises and invests, one that attracts regional visitors and talent, and one that will continue to grow.

As CharlotteRising takes off the training wheels, it is comforting to be part of such an inspiring movement downtown. While we as an organization have been listening and learning, the progress throughout downtown advances. Our board and volunteers look forward to expanding on the success. We have identified projects and programming for the upcoming year, and are in the midst of developing action plans for each. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining in on the downtown happenings, please get in touch through our Facebook, Twitter, or website ( or call (517) 258-2362.

So again, take a minute or two and recollect the many exciting moments over these past few months. But only a minute or two—farewell to this summer and goodbye leaves—we can’t wait to see what our downtown looks like in the coming months.


Dillon Rush is the executive director of CharlotteRising.