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Third Ward Neighborhood
Nestled in a canopy of Sycamore trees is the most diverse neighborhood in Center City. The Third Ward Neighborhood is home to long time residents, young families, empty nesters, retirees and aspiring professionals who have put down roots in restored mill houses, charming town homes and gleaming high rises. This eclectic neighborhood is bordered by lively W. Trade Street, I-77 and the Tryon Street business district and is bookended by parks and greenways. Boasting Center City’s only dog park, a successful community garden and the soon to be constructed Romare Bearden Park, Third Ward is blossoming with beauty and charisma.
The Third Ward Neighborhood is a community in motion. Johnson & Wales University students in white chef uniforms race to and from classes passing technology professionals immersed in the cyber world. The flurry of activity provides an animated setting for business professionals meeting in the park and promenade that link the Gateway business centers.
With Bank of America Stadium in their backyard, streets and spaces are filled with tailgate parties during Panther season. The tailgate season will soon be extended with the much anticipated Knight’s AAA baseball stadium in Third Ward. But it’s not all about sports in this community—the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus has changed the landscape and will bring the Mint Museum, Knight Theater, The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Harvey Gantt African American Culture Center.
The Wells Fargo Cultural Campus located on Tryon Street south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is a spectacular development in Third Ward. The campus, to be completed in 2010, will include the Mint Museum of Art, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Knight Theater and the Harvey Gantt African American Culture Center. The Wells Fargo office tower rises above the campus and will provide office space for Wells Fargo and Duke Energy. Novare’s Catalyst condominium tower and Twelve hotel are adjacent to the Cultural Campus. Catalyst residents and guests of Twelve will be able to step from the lobby into a new Romare Bearden Park and Charlotte Knights AAA baseball stadium (2010). Future development also includes Citiline’s mixed use development at Johnson & Wales Way and W. Trade Street and the Gateway Transit Station, a new commuter rail station and hub for the city’s mass transit system.
In the late 1800s, the Victor Cotton Mill anchored this southwest quadrant of the city. When the mill closed, the adjacent land was converted to neighborhood housing and the neighborhoods of McNinchville and Woodlawn were born. The neighborhoods were considered suburbs accessible by city streetcars and included a mixture of industrial buildings and housing. In the mid 1950s the neighborhoods declined. In the 1960s, the city added east/west connectors 4th Street, 5th Street that carved what remained of the neighborhoods in pieces. In the 1980s, shortly after revitalization of the city’s Fourth Ward, neighborhood activists and city leaders turned their efforts to Third Ward. They worked tirelessly with city officials and private-sector leaders to ensure the ultimate restoration of the Third Ward. Bank of America’s 1.5 million square foot mixed use complex, Gateway Village, sparked incredible development in Third Ward and has attracted attention nationwide for creative positioning of a mixed-use development in an urban setting.