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Charlotte’s Westward Expansion: Details On The ‘River District’ (Rebroadcast)


Aired on Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A 'mini-city' will soon be coming to a river bank near you. An enormous mixed-used development of apartments, homes, offices, retail, restaurants and parks dubbed the "River District" is in the works. We take a closer look. 

After decades of growth and development to the north and south of Charlotte, it’s time to go west. Recently, City Council voted unanimously to approve a massive development project proposed for west Charlotte located on the largely rural swath of land between the airport and the Catawba River.

The mixed-use development called the ‘River District’ will consist of thousands of homes and apartments, millions of square feet of office space, shops, restaurants, hotels, parks, and green space with access to the waterfront.

At 1,300 acres, it’s one of the largest ever planned developments in Charlotte - similar to Ballantyne or SouthPark - it’s almost a mini city. It will take decades to fully build out and challenges lie ahead with considerations for schools, roads and other infrastructure upgrades.

We’ll get details on the massive project, talk about how exactly you plan something of this size from scratch and make it into a place that’s both livable and desirable.

This show originally aired November 7, 2016


Mary Newsom - associate director, Urban & Regional Affairs, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

Ely Portillo - reporter for The Charlotte Observer, he covers economic development

Brian Leary - president, Commercial & Mixed Use, Crescent Communities, LLC, one of the developers behind the proposed River District

Related Reading:

Charlotte Observer: Enormous new development planned between Charlotte’s airport and Catawba River by Ely Portillo
"The plan by Crescent Communities and Lincoln Harris would usher sweeping changes into an area that has so far remained largely untouched by Charlotte’s development boom. Despite its proximity to uptown and rapidly growing Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the Dixie-Berryhill area, as it’s known, feels a world away and largely rural."

Charlotte Observer: River District: More questions about roads, schools, bridges by Ely Portillo
"With thousands of new residents, workers and shoppers potentially headed to a now-quiet swath of west Mecklenburg County sandwiched between the Catawba River and Charlotte’s airport, Charlotte City Council members asked how all those people will get around."

Plan Charlotte: An ’80s tale: How rural preservation didn’t happen by Mary Newsom
"Choices made decades ago ruled out the preservation of large-scale green belts or farmlands in Mecklenburg. This is the story of how that came about."