Center City Market Facts
Need to know how many restaurants, people or square feet we have in Uptown or Historic South End? We are constantly updating our database and research tools to support business recruitment and retention efforts. Our goal is to serve as the definitive source of information and data related to the Center City.
We have on-going research projects underway. The latest data is available here.
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Chiquita Brands International, Inc. and CapGemini were among the most notable relocations to the City Center. In addition to these highlights, Northeastern University, a Boston-based research university, established its first regional campus in Uptown Charlotte; and the Wake Forest MBA program relocated its Charlotte campus to the core business district. These two additions are excellent compliments to the existing spectrum of higher learning institutions located in Uptown.
South End continued to add businesses to complement its strong cluster in technology, design and construction industries with CGS Quaero Solutions Group, Ettain Group, Tresata and Adolfson & Peterson Inc.
These with several other relocations and expansions have helped to keep office vacancy rate in the Center City the lowest of all CBD’s nationwide, despite having added more than 2 million square feet of space during the past 3 years. In combination with rebounding rents and continued interest from national and global firms, the evidence confirms that Center City has emerged from the down economy and continues to diversify and attract talented employees who want to work in a vibrant, dynamic environment.
Charlotte’s Center City is a collection of vibrant, unique, diverse, and eclectic neighborhoods. In total, there are nearly 40,000 housing units within a 3 mile radius of “The Square” in nearly 50 neighborhoods with a population of nearly 80,000 people.
One of the most exciting development stories in Center City this year occurred in South End. In addition to continuing to grow as a place to work, South End has also evolved into a vibrant place to live. New apartment complexes have added thousands of new residents to this urban neighborhood, growing from 745 to over 3,000 units.
There is good news on the horizon as the Center City housing market has begun to stabilize, in particular the apartment market. As vacancy rates have decreased, nearly 3,000 units have been added to the pipeline in order to meet new demand. Center City’s superior amenities make it a great choice for young professionals, empty nesters and for those who are ready to raise a family. It is supported by an ever expanding transit system, home to incredible cultural institutions, and is connected by tree-lined streets and the Little Sugar Creek and Irwin Creek Greenways.
Uptown, South End, and Midtown’s market has proven to be resilient amidst a lagging national retail landscape. The delivery of several new commercial properties has expanded retail offerings and vacancy rates are on the decline. Retailers such as Jos. A. Bank Clothiers relocated their store to a larger space in Founders Hall. Emeril Lagasse opened a new restaurant in the Duke Energy Center, while electronics provider Bang Olfusen located in South End, allowing them to attract customers in Center City neighborhoods as well as Uptown employees.
Retail is driven by density and access to customers, both of which have been on the rise over the past decade in Center City. In the past two years, occupied Uptown retail space has grown by over 20% and has continued to diversify. The 7th Street Market opened in 2012 to give Uptown residents another option for fresh food and ingredients. A perfect complement to Flex + Fit, Uptown’s only location that combines retail, fitness and cooking classes. New restaurants catering to residents as well as employees are starting to become more prominent with the recent additions of City Smoke, Vapiano, and Queen City ‘Q. Dining and nightlife establishments continue to expand throughout the Center City, including recent openings at the North Carolina Music Factory, EpiCentre, and Metropolitan.
Places like the the Mint Museum, Bechtler Museum, Knight Theatre, The North Carolina Music Factory and NASCAR Hall of Fame offer a world-class cultural and entertainment experiences to visitors and residents alike. Romare Bearden Park and the Home of the Charlotte Knights AAA baseball team, opening in 2013, add to Uptown’s draw as an urban play ground.
Uptown and South End are also home to Charlotte’s community events. Festivals and events such as First Night Charlotte, South End Soul, July 4th Fireworks, Time Warner Cable BBQ & Blues, Holidays in the City and in 2010, the opening cermony of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, provide everyone a safe and affordable form of entertainment . Whether it’s a live concert, a Broadway show, or a sporting event, Center City has something for everyone.
Annual events in Center City have continue to grow in popularity with locals as well as regional and national audiences.
Over the past year a variety of transportation-related projects came to fruition laying the groundwork for future projects to be implemented. Plans to extend rapid transit still enjoy great public support, highlighted by the awarding of a $18 million federal grant to add capacity to the existing to the Lynx Blue Line, as well as the completion of a State Full Funding Grant Agreement providing 25 percent of the funding for the LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) from Center City Charlotte to the UNC Charlotte campus. In February a state-of-the-art wayfinding and parking guidance systems were installed, providing real-time information to visitors, residents, and employees. The Midtown section of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway was completed, now extending from Carolinas Medical Center beyond the Metropolitan, enhancing pedestrian and cycling connectivity and providing additional recreation space. 50 electric vehicle charging stations were installed in Center City, supporting the vision of creating the most environmentally sustainable urban core in the Southeast.
Looking ahead, there are some exciting projects on the horizon concerning bicycle infrastructure, as well as groundbreaking on the streetcar project scheduled to open in 2015.
South End Soul – Charlotte’s creative festival, this annual event celebrates the culture that is integral to the South End district. The event brings together individuals and organizations from across the design spectrum and provides a forum for the creative community to explore issues, showcase ideas, and generate business with a regional audience.
July 4th Fireworks – Fourth of July community celebration offering excitement for the entire family. Activities include sack races, giant inflatable slides, watermelon eating, tug-of-war contests and of course fireworks. This alcohol-free event was attended by over 300,000 people last year.
Time Warner Cable BBQ & Blues – This Memphis BBQ Network-sanctioned event celebrating southern music and cuisine features more than 100 BBQ teams competing for over $30,000 in cash and prizes. 150,000 attendees experience Uptown transform into a backyard BBQ during this three day fall festival.
Holidays in the City – This annual marketing event promotes Charlotte as a destination during the holiday period from Thanksgiving to New Years Eve. Events produced during this timeframe include the Belk Carrousel Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Center City Tree Lighting, Twelve Holiday Market, Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Festival and Game, and the Belk Bowl Festival, Pep Rally, and Game.
Food Lion Speed Street – For over 25 years, this festival has been commemorating the May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway with spectacular family-oriented events that personify the tremendous growth of motor sports. Come see your favorite driver or band during this three day festival.
Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium – Held on the streets of Uptown Charlotte, this exciting bike race pits the best men’s and women’s cyclists from around the world on a 1.2 mile road course. Tens of thousands of spectators gather along the course to watch over 180 cyclists vie for one of the largest purses in the country, with the proceeds of the race supporting the Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas.
First Night Charlotte – Charlotte’s New Year’s Eve celebration of art, culture and community. From noon till midnight, musicians, dancers, actors and artists entertain in the heart of Uptown. Over 50,000 people rang in 2012 at this alcohol-free, family friendly event.