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About CLT2014

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    Charlotte, NC
  1. Good New Restaurants

    I want to try this so bad! It is more expensive than I am used to where these were common and you could find AYCE KBBQ for $12 - $15 regularly, but this is a more upscale place and this first in the area so I'll gladly pay $30.
  2. Charlotte's Light Rail: Lynx Blue Line

    I think part of the problem with the parking decks at locations like Sugar Creek Road is you are already about a 15 minute drive from Uptown by that point. By the time you park your car in the Sugar Creek deck, walk to the train, and potentially miss it and have to wait 7 - 10 minutes, you could have probably just driven into Uptown and parked right next to your building, even at rush hour. Compound that with many of the Harrisburg, Concord, Highland Creek, etc... suburban commuters might be hesitant to wait for a train at "Sugar Creek" as the street doesn't have the best reputation for safety. Over time I think some people will park at Sugar Creek to save money on parking in Uptown, but it will take a while. Also, if traffic gets worse in that area over time and it becomes more congested, you may see more people ditch their car at the Sugar Creek deck and ride into work. I don't think it is congested enough yet to incentive people to ditch their car so close to Uptown. Is there any data on how many residents surrounding the Sugar Creek and Old Concord stations commute into Uptown for an 8AM to 5PM type of job? I would guess this changes over time, but right now I don't think those neighborhoods contribute much traffic into Uptown daily, hence the University City and Noda stops are getting all the traffic as more Uptown workers live in those neighborhoods.
  3. 9% would put us in the top 15 cities for sales tax nation wide with cities like Chicago and the California cities (and more than high cost of living cities like New York City, San Francisco, etc..). The other cities in the top 15 are largely in states with no income tax like Washington, Texas, and Tennessee (so they derive most of their income from sales tax). It is interesting that Denver built all of their rail system with a 7.65% sales tax rate, which is just slightly higher than our 7.25%, but we would need 9% to accomplish building a smaller system. Colorado also has a flat income tax of 4.63% versus 5.75% in North Carolina AND they have lower property taxes than Mecklenburg. Do we just not operate as efficiently as Denver and Colorado because it seems they accomplish more with less.
  4. SouthEnd Midrise Projects

    It looks like Haverford Place and those are the parking spots in the Harris Teeter lot.
  5. Wow, 1.5 cents sales tax increase would be needed to self fund it... it is going to take some creative revenue planning to find other sources of revenue to make this possible.
  6. It will be an empty bus if it takes that long. Transit times like this are why people drive.
  7. Depending on the goal of management and the types of jobs they are moving here, there are pluses and minuses to the talent pool here. For example, BofA has pushed paid maternity / paternity leave benefits up to 4 months. AllianceBernstein is significantly lower. Most of the banks do year round 401k matching. AB only does the 401k match in January... meaning if you quit in November you get $0 match for that year. The banks here often let people work from home on a Friday... AB might not like that, but they'd be pushing up against people's expectations in the job marketplace here. They battle it out against other firms in the New York City market as well... and might be looking forward to some relief for that in a city with lower cost of living / less competition. In Nashville, they might be able to have a bigger influence on what the prevailing financial services industry expectation is for wages, benefits, and corporate culture rather than have to match whatever BofA, Wells, and other bigger financial service employers in Charlotte are doing. You'll notice on GlassDoor there is a big variance in the reviews from NYC based employees and San Antonio, TX based employees. NYC employees complaining about poor benefits compared to others, limited vacation, etc.... while San Antonio employees seem pretty satisfied and say everything meets their expectations. If you are working in San Antonio in financial services though you have USAA and some other bank back offices so they don't have to get as competitive to keep talent.
  8. Northlake Mall

    The population growth has been Gen X and millennial's though, co-horts of people far less into luxury retail than status conscious baby boomers. In many cities, luxury retail sales would be on a downward trend if it wasn't for tourism, especially international tourism, as American preference shifts from clothing to experiences / fine dining / electronics. People today just don't care as much that you have a $50,000 Hermes purse as they did in 2002. Pre-recession Charlotte... yeah a $50,000 purse was a status symbol. Today.... I just don't see people caring that much unless you are 65 years old (and on the way out). If you go walk around Miami or Beverly Hills, you'll notice over half the people in the most high end retailers are tourists, often from other countries. In many foreign countries, coming home with a Channel purse is a HUGE status symbol and highly valued by the culture. Charlotte doesn't have the tourism draw that props up the organic decline in American shopping preferences to make up for it.
  9. Charlotte Off Topic

    It is Amazon and Walmart's world. We just happen to live in it. In the US retail toy market: Walmart currently has a 30% market share, Toy R Us has an 18% market share, Target has 17%, and Amazon has 10%. Walmart will probably end up at around 38% share, Target at 22%, and Amazon at 15% once Toys R Us dies. Mattel stock is down 10% today, Hasbro down 3.66%, and Bandai Namco down 1.5% as they will face an initial drop in sales and a consolidation of toy retail power in the hands of Walmart, Target, and Amazon who slaughter suppliers.
  10. Perception of Charlotte Nationwide

    Your friend must be advocating to have the city of San Francisco change its name too. When I landed at San Francisco Airport, the first thing that crossed my mind was "OMG, this entire city is named for Saint Francis of Assisi, a Catholic friar, deacon, and preacher. How could they continue to have their city be named after a Saint from a church that doesn't recognize same sex marriages and considers it ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil."
  11. Misc. Uptown Projects/News

    We aren't gaining any ground floor retail, but I think these renovations will help the aesthetic of 301 S. McDowell St.
  12. Misc. Uptown Projects/News

    15,000 is only the amount of people directly employed by Bank of America. That count doesn't include the good amount of contractors that work at BofA, which fluctuates, and they still have to seat in a BofA building. In the technology organization specifically, a good amount of people are on contract and anywhere from 5,000 - 7,000 contractors at any one point sounds reasonable. Down at Gateway Village.... I'd guess maybe 30% - 40% of people working down there are contractors, not BofA employees. When I was on a tech team at Gateway in my BofA days, most doing development work were on a contract. We had 3 full time people from the business, 1 full time tech manager, 2 full time developers, and 18 contract developers that would rotate off when their contract expired. Similar ratios exist on many tech projects company-wide and developers often have to work as a contractor first, before getting a full-time offer. They always exclude contractors when reporting their employee count, here in Charlotte and company-wide.
  13. Where is the unused rail line bridge? The rail bridge closest to where the River District will go (with Muddy River Distillery on the Belmont side), is the Northfolk Southern route to the airport intermodal terminal. I'm not aware of another rail crossing anywhere in that vicinity. There are some all the way up by Mt. Holly owned by CSX. All are active though. A new bridge would have to be built over the river at Gaston County expense for light rail.
  14. I don't know if there is much appetite in Gaston County to cough up money to fund light rail construction over the river to their county. Mecklenburg doesn't even have enough funds to build light rail within the county paying for it through the sales tax increase, so Gaston County would have to fund their portion and I don't think locals would vote to tax themselves.
  15. Charlotte Off Topic

    GAO Study Highlights Need for Funding Geography Education