Block By Block

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

Block By Block: Cherry Neighborhood Then And Now

Aug 29, 2017

Block By Block: South End Then And Now

Aug 29, 2017

Charlotte’s South End used to be something of a no man’s land. Once an industrial center housing a Pepsi-Cola bottling factory and a flour mill, by the 1980s, most businesses had left.  A few condos and apartments began sprouting up in the 1990s, taking the place of older mills. But it was the completion of the LYNX Blue Line light rail that helped transform the area.

Block By Block: University City Then And Now

Aug 29, 2017

Block By Block: NoDa Then And Now

Aug 29, 2017

Block By Block: West Charlotte Then And Now

Aug 29, 2017

Block By Block: Uptown Then And Now

Aug 29, 2017

Block By Block: Charlotte Then And Now

Aug 29, 2017

It’s not news that Charlotte is growing rapidly. This year, Charlotte was ranked fourth in the country for fastest job growth. In the last 10 years, more than 7,000 new businesses came to the Queen City, occupying 94 million square feet, adding $9.2 million dollars in economic activity, and employing more than 57,000 people, according to real estate research company Marcus and Millichap

Block By Block: Plaza Midwood Then And Now

Aug 10, 2017

A look at Plaza Midwood illustrates the rapid growth surrounding Uptown Charlotte. The eclectic neighborhood just east of the city has attracted young families and young professionals to the area. In recent years, large apartment complexes have begun popping up as plans for the 2020 construction of the Gold Line Streetcar have solidified. 

Charlotte Observer/David T. Foster III

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Gentrification can spruce up neighborhoods but it can also price long-term residents out. We examine that and hear about what may be a first-of-its-kind effort to slow gentrification down.


Monday, July 10, 2017

We get a fuller picture of Charlotte’s homicide rate and how it has affected the city. Then, our Block-By-Block series takes us to Camp North End. This languishing area is about to get a facelift.

Charlotte Observer / Jeff Siner

Monday, May 8, 2017

What happens when mega development moves into the neighborhood? We head to Plaza Midwood where a tiny bar has become the poster child for rapid growth in an old neighborhood.

Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

As part of our “Block by Block,” series, this report takes you to Gastonia. In the early 20th century, Gastonia was home to one of the largest textile mills in the South:  The Loray Mill. It grew to employ 3,500 workers, and most lived in the surrounding mill village. The neighborhood’s ties to the mill stayed strong well after the company stopped providing housing. In fact, it’s still strong 22 years after the mill closed and accelerated the community’s decline.

South End: Past And Future

Sep 10, 2015
Shook Kelley

Charlotte's South End was an industrial wasteland in the 1980s. Now, it's a vibrant home to breweries, shops, restaurants – and relentless construction. Recent developments have some worried that popular gathering spots will be replaced by apartments or office towers. We'll talk to one of the pioneers who helped make South End cool, and is now selling the lot that includes Common Market and Food Truck Fridays.

Block By Block: The Town Of Davidson

Sep 1, 2015

Wednesday, September 2

This summer, we’ve been visiting the towns that ring Charlotte from Mathews to Belmont to Waxhaw, now it’s up I-77 to Davidson. Perhaps best known for Davidson College and the town’s historic downtown, like other ring cities, they’ve been growing like crazy and have the challenge of managing that growth and maintaining what makes Davidson special. We talk about that and get into a controversial project called “Narrow Passage.” 

Block By Block: Waxhaw

Aug 12, 2015
By Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD(], via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, August 13

The next stop on our summer Block By Block series is Waxhaw, which along with Union County is among the fastest growing areas in the nation. But the benefits of that growth are sometimes overshadowed by the challenges. We hear from leaders and residents about how they plan to deal with Waxhaw’s booming growth while preserving the region’s historic charm.

Growth In Belmont

Jul 15, 2015
Belmont has seen a lot of growth as more people move there and commute to Charlotte. It's one of many communities in Gaston County that's seen property values and rents rise in recent years.
Erin Keever / WFAE

For years, those in the know have referred to Belmont as a hidden gem. Just down I-85 from Charlotte, Belmont started as a railroad and textile hub in the late 1880s and today is thriving with a burgeoning Main Street with restaurants and antique shops, a nearby college and the Daniel Stowe Botanical garden. There’s even talk of bringing trolley service back to town. Belmont is benefiting from the region’s growth and we look into how they’re handling it.

Protest petitions are a major way citizens can object to zoning changes in their neighborhoods. The North Carolina Senate has tentatively approved a measure to effectively kill that tool.

Entrepreneurism And Growth In Matthews

Jun 10, 2015
Tanner Latham / WFAE

Block By Block: WFAE's series about Charlotte area neighborhoods

Charlotte isn’t the only city in the region attracting business. Matthews is holding its own. They are witnessing a spike in small business owners calling Main Street home. Young professionals and retirees are also moving to Matthews because of their affordable cost of living. So just what kinds of entrepreneurs and business owners are opening up shop there? How has Matthews changed recently? We hear from the assistant town manager and some business owners about that.

Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

Growth has both an upside and a downside. It’s a sign of the health of a community. It can also threaten the character of a community. The challenge is in growing in a way that protects and enhances. WFAE’s ongoing series Block by Block looks at the challenges of growth. As part of that series, WFAE’s Charlotte Talks addressed how to grow “the right way.”

Host Mike Collins spoke to Charlotte architect Tom Low about community fears of neighborhoods like Plaza Midwood becoming sterile.

Charlotte: How To Grow The Right Way

Jun 9, 2015
Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

Block By Block: WFAE's series about Charlotte area neighborhoods

They say two things are certain in life: death and taxes. Let’s add a third: growth. And Charlotte has been growing for years with no end in sight. Growth has both an upside and a downside. It’s a sign of the health of a community but it can also threaten the character of that community. Is it possible to grow “the right way,” in a way that protects and even enhances what came before? We hear from experts on the topic and what they have to say about Charlotte.