Center City Data & Statistics
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.
- Office & Recruitment
- Hospitality & Entertainment
- Transportation & Parking
- Quality of Life
- On the Horizon
Office & Recruitment
In July 2009, Center City Partners reconfirmed the commitment to strengthening the region’s economic engine by engaging a new Director of Economic Development to work in tandem with the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, the Charlotte Regional Partnership and the brokerage community. Priorities include business recruitment and retention and determining opportunities to more effectively market the Center City as the center of commerce. The results? Uptown Charlotte has seen more than 312,000 square feet of new or expanded business occupancy between July 2009 and 1st Quarter 2010. Uptown and South End office vacancy can actually be a good thing. Until quite recently, businesses could not be recruited to the CenterCity because the space simply was not there. Now, with available square footage and aggressive rates, companies that previously would not have considered Uptown and South End are taking a keen interest. When 1 Bank of America Center is completed, the market share will increase again to 40.9%. In total, Uptown office product will have increased 15% between 1st Quarter 2009 and 3rd Quarter 2010.
- Uptown Market Share: 41%
- Uptown Vacancy: 10.8%
- CBD National Average Vacancy: 14.6%
- Uptown Total Sq. Ft. (In Millions): 18.4
- Uptown Current Lease Rate: $24.59
- South End Total Sq Ft: 850,000
- Uptown Employees: 70,000
- Uptown Employees by 2030: 100,000
Center City Charlotte has always been the City’s business district. But today, Uptown and South End are also vibrant neighborhoods with nearly 15,000 residents. It’s estimated that more than half of these residents relocated from within Mecklenburg County to avoid long commutes and to experience the energy of urban living. They enjoy many conveniences right at their fingertips, from banking, medical offices and fitness centers to grocery stores, dry cleaners and hair salons—not to mention an ever-growing list of arts and cultural venues, restaurants and nightspots. But residents say the most attractive features of Center City living are the exhilarating urban environment, walkability and impressive skyline views.
Center City Charlotte has diverse neighborhoods and housing types ranging from single-family homes in historic districts, to mid-rise and high-rise condos in the heart of Uptown and apartments, lofts and live/work condos in the South End. Over the past decade, more than 7,000 housing units have been completed, surpassing the goal of 6,000 units recommended in the Center City 2010 Vision Plan. Also, spurred on by the opening of the LYNX Blue Line, South End has seen significant growth with over 1,200 apartments completed in 2009.Uptown Estimated Population 2009: 11,230South End Estimated Population 2009: 3,400% of Center City Residents Working in Center City: 52%% of Center City Residents Who Walk to Work: 30%
Uptown Charlotte, one of the nation’s most dynamic urban centers, is ripe for continued transformation, thanks to its vital business core, high-density residential growth, and solid standing as a cultural, dining and entertainment destination. By 2020, research predicts demand for at least one million square feet of new urban, street-level retail in Uptown to serve an impressive concentration of high-earning consumers.
In 2008, Center City saw a resurgence of retail with two heavy hitting retail centers – Metropolitan, located in Midtown, and EpiCentre in Uptown. Together these centers added more than 765,000 square feet of retail. New locations will continue to grow this year in the Duke Energy Center, which will include 40,000 square feet of new ground floor retail space. Founders Hall has undergone extensive renovations expanding its retail offerings to include new restaurants such as Taste and Aria.
In South End, the addition of 1,500 new residential units has created more retail opportunities. Circle at South End and 1225 South Church Street both include retail space that’s well suited for neighborhood services. Other developments like Atherton Mill are recognizing the new surge of residents and redesigning their spaces to become more of a community gathering place by adding new businesses such as Icehouse (set to open in late 2010) and a farmer’s market.
- Uptown Total Retail Sq Ft: 3,369,231
- Uptown Total Retail Sq Ft Under Construction: 210,000
- South End Arts, Furnishings & Design Establishments: 56
- Uptown Retail Spending Capacity: $434.7 million
Hospitality & Entertainment
Three of four new museums at the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus opened this year: the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts & Culture, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, and the Knight Theatre. The new Mint Museum, with 145,000 square feet, will be open in October 2010. 2010 was a banner year for adding a wealth of new hospitality and entertainment venues: the NASCAR Hall of Fame celebrated its grand opening; the Convention Center’s new Crown Ball Room, a 40,000-square-foot facility with 5,000-seat capacity came online, and the new North Carolina Dance Theatre will be completed, offering 34,000 square feet for shows and performances.
In 2009, 325 new hotel rooms were delivered, thanks to the new Ritz-Carlton and aLoft hotels. The Charlotte Convention Center celebrated its 15th year in operation and managed to host more than 350 events in 2009 alone.
- Uptown Total Number of Hotel Rooms: 4,214
- Uptown Room Nights Booked: 167,000
- Uptown Hotel Occupancy: 58.2%
- Uptown Hotel Average Daily Rate: $124.54
- Convention Center Exhibit Space: 280,000 Sq Ft
- Number of Conventions with more than 1,000 Attendees: 70
- Convention Center Attendance for Major Events: 425,422
Transportation & Parking
The Center City Transportation Plan, adopted in 2006, presents a strategic direction for future policies and infrastructure investments in the Center City. Key concepts of the plan include: • Making Center City more pedestrian-friendly • Integrating the new transit system into the street network and sidewalks • Enhancing the walk from transit stops and parking facilities • Implementing more two-way streets, making Center City easier to navigate • Preserving key one-way streets to maximize the flow of peak hour traffic • Directing more traffic to I-277 as an internal circulator route, instead of driving across Center City • Making it easier to find parking spaces, especially for visitors and major event patrons.
Engineering and design work are underway on the 9.9-mile streetcar line that will connect Charlotte’s neighborhoods from I-85 on the west along Beatties Ford Road, along Trade Street through Uptown, and along Elizabeth and Central Avenues to Eastland Mall on the east.
To accommodate visitors, a comprehensive wayfinding signage program was designed and installed. Featuring real-time parking information from 15 parking decks in the Center City, the wayfinding signage program will be complete in 2010 and will facilitate visitor discovery and exploration of the Center City. Ten pedestrian wayfinding map kiosks also will be installed in South End to encourage walking and promote local businesses and activities.
- Uptown Parking Spaces: 47,406
- Investment Underway in a Regional Transit System: $3 Billion
- CATS Bus Routes that Serve Center City: 52
- LYNX Light Rail Stops in Center City: 8
- Length of LYNX Light Rail Line: 9.6 Miles
- LYNX Blue Line Average Weekday Ridership: 15,400
- Total Annual Transit Rides in CATS System: 26 Million
- Distance to Charlotte Douglas International Airport: 7 Miles
- International Airport Direct Destinations: 150
- Airport Daily Flights (January 2010): 600
- Airport Total Passengers Serrved (2008): 34.7 Million
Quality of Life
Charlotte’s citizens are committed to preserving the natural beauty of the city. The urban core has more than 220 acres of open space, and plans call for three new parks in the First, Second and Third Wards. Natural greenways that weave throughout Stewart Creek, Irwin Creek and Little Sugar Creek areas will be expanded. The streetscape will continue to be enhanced to make sidewalks, as well as the bike path along the Lynx Blue Line, the most pleasant and enjoyable recreational resource in Uptown, South End and Midtown.
Center City Charlotte is proud to be the future home to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Uptown campus, housing its business, architecture, and design programs. The university is currently building a 12-story tower to anchor the new First Ward Park. Located on the corner of Kings Drive and Seventh Street, Central Piedmont Community College’s new 36,000-square-foot culinary building opened in 2009 to house the school’s technology, hotel and restaurant management programs. The state-of-the-art facility will help attract aspiring chefs and restaurant entrepreneurs from across the region. Johnson & Wales University announced the development of a new student center to be built on the residence hall parking lot, adjacent to the Carolina Panthers practice field at 215 South Cedar Street. Johnson C. Smith University is constructing a new facility on West Trade Street for its Visual and Performing Arts curriculum. The 14,000-square-foot building will support the university’s new interdisciplinary Bachelor in Visual and Performing Arts, with concentrations in theatre, film, studio art, graphic art and dance. This new center is part of JCSU’s vision to revitalize Charlotte’s West End.
The Central Division of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, which includes Uptown and South End, consistently boasts one of the lowest crime rates of any division in Charlotte. Crime is at a record low—something to be proud of, considering the high volume of workers, residents, visitors, and nightspots that depend on the CMPD to ensure their safety.
The Center City Green Market is gearing up for its eleventh season. The market operates from May 9 through September 5 and is open Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm. As always, shoppers can expect to find an unparalleled selection of farm-fresh local produce, fresh seafood from the Carolina coast and beyond, beautiful fresh-cut flowers, homemade baked goods, sauces and more.
- Uptown K – 12 Schools: 7
- Center City Higher Education Institutions: 6
- Center City Higher Education Enrollment: 22,500
- Center City Acres of Open Space: 221
- Center City Miles of Greenway: 4.25
- Center City Public Recreation Centers: 6
- Center City Public Tennis & Basketball Courts: 23
- Center City Green Market Vendors: 25
On the Horizon
2020 Center City Vision Plan – Charlotte Center City Partners (CCCP), the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are working together to create the 2020 Vision Plan to guide the growth of our urban core, encompassing Uptown, South End and adjacent neighborhoods over the next decade. After the draft plan is presented to the community, this 14-month planning process will culminate in the fall of 2010 when the City Council and County Commission will be asked to consider adoption of the final plan. For more information about the Plan, please visit centercity2020.org.
City Market – This year, Center City Partners, Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte engaged a consultant, Project for Public Spaces, to study the feasibility of building a new public market in Uptown. The study will evaluate and prioritize several potential locations for the market, as well as the concept, product mix and interest of farmers and other vendors to participate.
2030 Transportation Plan – The LYNX Blue Line has transformed South End and showed us what light rail can do for a community. CCCP will continue to work with CATS on ways to accelerate implementation of the 2030 Transportation Plan.
Environmental Sustainability – With the goal of becoming the most environmentally sustainable urban center in the southeast, CCCP will continue to partner with Duke Energy and others to develop infrastructure to support new technologies for the 21st century.
The Economic Development team is partnering with the Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Regional Partnership, the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and the State as well as the Board of Directors and brokerage community to make sure the vacancy rate in the Center City stays low and that new inventory is marketed aggressively. We have had great success thus far, with many new prospects to recruit on the horizon.
CCCP will build the brands of ‘Find Your Center’, ‘Historic South End’ and ‘Urban Living.’ Utilizing tools such as public relations, social media, events, programs and advertising, CCCP will strive to enhance and support all brands of the Center City through digital marketing and high quality events. This strategy is vital as our Center City becomes a national and international destination.