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A periodic series in which we’ll visit neighborhoods going through change, big and small.

Block By Block: Cherry Neighborhood Then And Now

The Cherry neighborhood was established in 1891 to promote home ownership for working-class African-Americans. It largely remained that way until the 2000s. Developers are now buying up land and more affluent, largely white, homeowners are moving in – and it’s easy to see why it’s so attractive. It’s close to Uptown, has easy access to public transportation, and has some of the best views of the Charlotte skyline. Its historic buildings have become trendy and the low-cost homes are ideal for people looking to rebuild much bigger homes, or try their hand at a fixer-upper.

“I've heard it called 'self-gentrification.' It’s when people decide they want to be in a particular place and they buy a house to redevelop. And that can be seen very dramatically in the old Cherry neighborhood.”  -Tom Hanchett, Charlotte Historian

Longtime residents fear the oldest and last-standing historic black community will soon disappear. Many of these homeowners worry about rising property taxes. And many renters have been displaced as their homes have been sold to make way for new developments. Based on the 2000 census, 55 percent of Cherry’s residents were black. According to the latest Quality of Life Study from UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute, the neighborhood is 45.2 percent white and only 34.4 percent black. 

WFAE reporter Gwendolyn Glenn Looks at the fears of long-time residents and a zoning decision that accelerated the rate of change. [GENTRIFICATION OF CHERRY LEAVES LONGTIME RESIDENTS WORRIED ABOUT NEIGHBORHOOD]