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Southend

Uptown Charlotte Apartments

15 posts in this topic

With all the announcements of condominium projects in uptown Charlotte, I wanted to raise an issue to our health in becoming an urban city. Are a key demographic of our true representation of our city being left out due to the lack of moderately priced apartments in downtown? Let me just say i'm kind of unsure of the difference between condos/apartments- do you purchase a condo or do you rent a condo? I think you purchase them. If they are only for purchase, doesn't exclude a good quantity of people from having the opportunity to live downtown? Either way, do you think the condo projects uptown are neglecting the lower to middle class demo of our city? This is a huge demographic, and our downtown will never be all it can without a true representation of us as a city.

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With all the announcements of condominium projects in uptown Charlotte, I wanted to raise an issue to our health in becoming an urban city.  Are a key demographic of our true representation of our city being left out due to the lack of moderately priced apartments in downtown?  Let me just say i'm kind of unsure of the difference between condos/apartments- do you purchase a condo or do you rent a condo?  I think you purchase them.  If they are only for purchase, doesn't exclude a good quantity of people from having the opportunity to live downtown?  Either way, do you think the condo projects uptown are neglecting the lower to middle class demo of our city? This is a huge demographic, and our downtown will never be all it can without a true representation of us as a city.

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Condos are either purchased or leased, and apartments are rented. I have often wondered why everyone builds luxury condos, but not apartments that the everage middle class person can afford. That would probably increase the uptown population.

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With all the announcements of condominium projects in uptown Charlotte, I wanted to raise an issue to our health in becoming an urban city.  Are a key demographic of our true representation of our city being left out due to the lack of moderately priced apartments in downtown?  Let me just say i'm kind of unsure of the difference between condos/apartments- do you purchase a condo or do you rent a condo?  I think you purchase them.  If they are only for purchase, doesn't exclude a good quantity of people from having the opportunity to live downtown?  Either way, do you think the condo projects uptown are neglecting the lower to middle class demo of our city? This is a huge demographic, and our downtown will never be all it can without a true representation of us as a city.

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Half of First Ward is subsidized housing. I think that South Park and Ballentyne need to do their part, that's where we should be focusing.

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Half of First Ward is subsidized housing.  I think that South Park and Ballentyne need to do their part, that's where we should be focusing.

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Bingo Southend. I am glad you started this thread.

This is the primary problem with downtowns like Charlotte. Only the very well off and the very poor (only people elegible for the subdized housing) can afford to live there. The middle class simply avoids it and continue to move to the suburbs. Dozens of apartment buildings have been raised in DT and replaced by very expensive condos.

Despite all the construction, ever wonder why the number of downtown residents has only risen by 3500 or so in the last 15 years? During the same period, the county population rose by 250,000 or more.

The only resonably priced apt building that I think is left in DT is the Tryon House. Wonder how long it will last?

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There are also affordable apartments on Graham DT....$800 for a 2BR i think....I forgot their name but it is a large almost suburban style community. I think it's unfair to say that the middle-class isn't catered to. Many of these places have 1 BR units in the $175k-$225k range. This is very much in line with the rest of the city. Typically people with kids do not want to live downtown do to the relatively poorer schools. This takes a majority of the middle-class population, and those who don't have kids will do just fine with a 1BR....you need to remember, choosing to live in a very urban environment is a decision people make, there are definite trade-offs, size/schools.....economics aside, if you could offer a 2500 sq. ft. condo for $180k, I don't believe you'd attract that much more of a cross-section of the population...it's just a lifestyle that a minority of the population seeks.

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All kids in downtown in the 277 loop go to Myers Park High School by default. This is the best high school in the county....so schools are not a problem for those with kids downtown.

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All kids in  downtown in the 277 loop go to Myers Park High School by default. This is the best high school in the county....so schools are not a problem for those with kids downtown.

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Everyone wants their kids to have a yard and a classic neighborhood (I wonder if they get that in NYC or London?) too, so that's a also a factor. The average home these days is about $200,000 which with mortgage, taxes and expenses nears $1500 per month. You can get a pretty awesome two-bedroom in Uptown for that much. Add the fact that you might be about to go without having to pay for two $150/mo parking spaces, gasoline, etc. you could probably afford even more.

I just think that most people in the middle income levels with children just don't want to live up here, especially if they aren't so carreer focused that they have plenty of time to commute.

Besides, who ever said that the playing field has to be leveled for everyone? Beyond the safety net needed for those at the bottom, you'd just destroy the incentive to work hard and earn more so that you can live in a nicer place. Go to Southwest Charlotte down near the airport and you can have an awesome place for not too much money and a relative short commute. Or, how about buy something in Belmont and fix it up?

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The point isn't where people choose to live, but rather, why they don't want to live in downtown Charlotte.

If you look as what makes a real city, downtown Charlotte is lacking in almost all of them simply because it caters really to just one demographic. And that demographic simply isn't large enough to take the city beyond what it is now. If you don't cater to the middle class with children, you end up with a nice office park, some expensive boutique shopping, and restaurants that either close outside business lunch or are pricey night dining.

At the moment shool choice has influence on on charlotte reale state due to the school choice program. There is extreme pressure from the suburbs to end this however then you will most likely see a big shake up in how schools affect housing. The best schools will be were the middle class lives and that won't be downtown Charlotte.

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The point isn't where people choose to live, but rather, why they don't want to live in downtown Charlotte. 

If you look as what makes a real city, downtown Charlotte is lacking in almost all of them simply because it caters really to just one demographic.  And that demographic simply isn't large enough to take the city beyond what it is now.  If you don't cater to the middle class with children, you end up with a nice office park, some expensive boutique shopping, and restaurants that either close outside business lunch or are pricey night dining. 

At the moment shool choice has influence on on charlotte reale state due to the school choice program.  There is extreme pressure from the suburbs to end this however then you will most likely see a big shake up in how schools affect housing.  The best schools will be were the middle class lives and that won't be downtown Charlotte.

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Speaking from experience, there is virtually zero middle class left in Manhattan. It's comprised of fairly well to do Wall Street types, ad execs, doctors and lawyers on the high end and lower paid workers on the low end. There are some lower income elderly people who have never left their residences because of rent control laws, but they are are relatively small population.

The middle class has effectively been priced out of the market for years. They started moving to the suburbs and outerboroughs in the 1950s. This flight combined with the physical decay and high crime of the city during the fiscal crisis of the 1970s led to gloom and doom predictions for its future. Yet, today it thrives, even though the middle class has never returned. So can't a city feel like a real city even if the middle class doesn't live there?

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Bingo Southend.  I am glad you started this thread. 

This is the primary problem with downtowns like Charlotte.  Only the very well off and the very poor (only people elegible for the subdized housing) can afford to live there.    The middle class simply avoids it and continue to move to the suburbs.  Dozens of apartment buildings have been raised in DT and replaced by very expensive condos. 

Despite all the construction, ever wonder why the number of downtown residents has only risen by 3500 or so in the last 15 years?    During the same period, the county population rose by 250,000 or more. 

The only resonably priced apt building that I think is left in DT is the Tryon House.  Wonder how long it will last?

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Downtown Apartments:::

Canterbury Court 2BR-> $780 / month

First Ward Place Apts 2BR-> $865 /month

The Arbors (on Graham) 2BR -> $1075 /month

Charlotte Cotton Mills 2BR ->$1130 /month

Sycamore Green 2BR-> $1240 / month

For comparison:::

Bexley Commons at Rosedale (Huntersville) 2BR-> $880 /month

1420 Magnolia (SouthPark) 2BR -> $990 / month

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So can't a city feel like a real city even if the middle class doesn't live there?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If you believe that DT Charlotte is like Manhatten then I guess we don't have much to discuss. :)

The comparison you make to NYC isn't reallly valid as it is a city that has as many people in it as the entire state of NC and you chose the most expensive part of the city to compare against. What about Queens, Brooklyn, Harlem, etc. There are other parts of NYC that do have the middle class. The point I made above there are not enought "manhatten types" in the entire Carolinas if you moved them all to DT to make a decent city.

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If you believe that DT Charlotte is like Manhatten then I guess we don't have much to discuss.  :)

The comparison you make to NYC isn't reallly valid as it is a city that has as many people in it as the entire state of NC and you chose the most expensive part of the city to compare against.  What about Queens, Brooklyn, Harlem, etc.  There are other parts of NYC that do have the middle class.  The point I made above there are not enought "manhatten types" in the entire Carolinas if you moved them all to DT to make a decent city.

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monsoon, you are right, i dont think anyone will confuse DT Charlotte with Manhattan for at least 5 more years :P

I honestly don't think many middle class people, particularly families, even WANT to live in a city-like environment. I think the paradigm of the American dream of a house with a garage, a big yard, a white picket fence, 2.3 children and a dog has been ingrained in our society as the blueprint for success. I think most middle class actually like being in the suburbs amongst others of similar backgrounds, income levels and interests, and don't necessarily crave the city life, which often carries the stigma of noise, crime and pollution whether true or not.

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monsoon.....well yes, there are other parts of NYC just as there are other parts of Charlotte. Uptown here is has the extremes that Manhattan does......i think it is a very valid comparison.....i have to agree with Smelly Cat, people are ingrained with the need for space. 2 generations ago, 5 people would have lived in a 1000 sq. ft. flat, now, 2 at the most would chose that lifestyle. I don't think that it's anyones responsibility to make sure that all income segments are catered to uptown......demand drives the market. The high-school may be ok, but elementary schools (irwin ave. and first ward) are still ranked lowely in performance by CMS.

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The more the big businesses focus on keeping their locations uptown, the more young and unconventional types will work uptown and want to live uptown. It has happened right before our eyes, and that is all the proof we need that our city will continue to grow and succeed. Has anyone noticed how much more activity the city gets in the evening compared to only 4 years ago? When I first began coming to Charlotte, the city was no more active than downtown Knoxville in the evenings. Now, it is slowly becoming more like Nashville. With the growth rate and the concentration of Uptown development, I believe the numbers will skyrocket uptown. Charlotte is regarded for its "smart growth" planning.

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I don't think it has to be a "Suburbs vs. Uptown" choice for families either. This "American Dream" neighborhood so many families seek is right here in our center city area. Neighborhoods like Dilworth and Elizabeth exemplify what developers are trying to mimic in the suburbs. Maybe families won't live within the confines of 277 but is it not just as well to have them immediately on the other side of 277. I know Dilworth, Elizabeth and Myers Park are pricey but with all of the terrific neighborhoods surrounding uptown the city can make a massive push to create neighborhoods for all types of people. Why not work to attract families to neighborhoods like Wilmore and Belmont. It will take a lot of money but it would be worth it in the end. Creating a proper mix of incomes, ages, and demographics is important for our center city. It's important for uptown to have a bit of everything but every neighborhood doesn't necessarily need equal parts of everything. Charlotte needs to focus on working its patchwork of neighborhoods into a mix that balance and add to one another rather than competing with one another. Different neighborhoods need different feels.

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