Thursday, May 10, 2007

What a difference a decade makes

A former colleague who worked at the Observer in the mid-1990s before moving up North visited our newsroom today, and she couldn’t stop talking about how much Charlotte has changed in the last 10 years. "The growth is blowing me away," she said.

When she left, there were no high-rise condos in uptown Charlotte, and no Hearst Tower skyscraper; no Bobcats Arena; no Ballantyne Village with its spaceship-style movie theater; no Northlake mall; no Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus at SouthPark.

And those are just some of the immediately visible changes. The region’s been growing at the rate of 50,000 people a year, and those newcomers are bringing with them new accents, food preferences, driving habits and cultures from around the U.S. and the world.

For me, the biggest change Charlotte has undergone in the past decade is the livability and attractiveness of uptown Charlotte. I love seeing our skyline grow crowded with all the high-rise condos under construction, and new entertaintment and cultural opportunities rising along with them at places like the EpiCentre development and the Wachovia complex underway on South Tryon.

I get out to the suburbs a fair amount, thanks to this job, but I’ll bet the people in Union County, Mooresville, Belmont and Fort Mill can tell me more about some of the newer happenings in their areas too.

E-mail me or post here what, in your opinion, are some of the most significant changes the Charlotte region has seen in the last decade. I’ll share highlights with our newcomers in an upcoming column.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has become more diverse and accepting, there are more things to do and see, it just looks nicer than it used to, etc. The traffic may of gotten worse, but to me it is worth it. Charlotte is a much better place now, and I only see it getting better.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Matthiss said...

My wife and I were just spending 48 hours in town because I might take a job in Winston-Salem. Both of us liked the city. Also, I found out that one of our favorite stores (Trader Joe's) is going to open locations in town. That can make the town only even more attractive.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte is better than it was five years ago. I think the City is realizing that if Charlotte wants to grow up someday ,they will have to let more outsiders in to do business. Companies are starting to come here and follow the crowd from OHIO , CALIFORNIA, FLORIDA and New York; Even Donato's PIZZA from Ohio is giving it a wack here; People are from all over now and this city wants to become like WASHINGTON DC stand out of its way; Alls Im saying that if you want to make a living you have to let work come to town; For years the good ole boys were afraid to let their business monopolies go but they are realizing they could make more money as money circulates. Look Charloote looks like a cow patty in a field when the NEWS cameras give a downtown picture from a distance , this city needs to grow by %50 percent quick to gain interest.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we can get People in city council and Mayors office to not bow down to OLD SOUTHERN HERITAGE and let this city grow like it should have we 'd be all right.Look the days of "AMWAY" and other Pyramid schemes has got to go here we need real business not groupies little time business ; We need a car palnt within 60 miles of this place; we need a professional baseball team not ametuer ball.

7:52 AM  

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