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Life Trickles Back Into Uptown Charlotte, But Full Recovery Is Still A Ways Off

WFAE file photo/Erin Keever

Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021

This summer’s spike of COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant dealt another blow to our already struggling businesses. A return to normal still feels a ways off for many of Charlotte’s business districts.

Uptown went from being a total ghost town at the beginning of the pandemic, to now seeing a trickle of office workers back in center city. But many office towers have not returned to full capacity, and major employers continue to delay a full return to the office.

How much longer can the uptown ecosystem sustain this kind of uncertainty? What will a full recovery look like for uptown?

We’ll check in on the state of center city.


Michael Smith, president and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners

Ely Portillo, assistant director of outreach & strategic partnerships at UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute

Heath Campbell, president, Charlotte, Metrolina region at Truist

Paul Manley, owner of Sea Level NC in uptown Charlotte, The Waterman Fish Bar in SouthEnd, and ACE No. 3, a burger spot in the Belmont neighborhood. Manley is the owner of High Tide Hospitality, a Charlotte-based restaurant group.

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Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.