Axios Charlotte

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March 21, 2024

It's Friday eve, at last! Alexandria here.

โ˜€๏ธ Weather: Mostly sunny with a high of 69ยฐ.

๐ŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Charlotte member Kristen Peacock!

Today's Smart Brevityโ„ข๏ธ count is 731 words โ€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: ๐Ÿ— Now THIS is an apartment boom

Charlotte is in the midst of one of the greatest apartment expansions in the country. North Tryon, for instance, has become a row of timber towers with leasing banners. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Finally, we're seeing the upside to all that apartment construction people love to complain about.

Why it matters: Charlotte is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, with the cost of living continuing to rise.

By the numbers: The city's apartment stock will increase by 13.2% over the next couple of years as construction finishes on 29,300 units, per CoStar data. Percentage-wise, it's the largest apartment expansion in the U.S., ahead of Austin and Miami.

  • Average rent is down to $1,566, compared to $1,601 last year, CoStar's director of market analytics Chuck McShane tells Axios.

Yes, but: Rents are still about 20% higher than 2020.

  • "This is more of a correction of rents as that new competition comes online," McShane says.

Read on about falling rents

2. ๐Ÿณ Revered diner to open second location

Midnight Diner's original restaurant moved to Uptown last year. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Midnight Diner will recreate its stainless steel facade and start flipping eggs at a second location on North Tryon Street later this year.

Why it matters: This growing area and all its college students are sure to welcome Charlotte's favorite late-night, cheap breakfast experience with open arms.

What they're saying: Owner Brian Dominick tells Axios he's targeting a fourth-quarter opening at 6538 N. Tryon St.

  • He's readapting the Old Hickory House Barbeque, which closed in 2015 during the Blue Line construction. The building is near the Tom Hunter light rail station.

Keep reading

3. ๐Ÿ€ Your guide to the Big Dance

Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

March Madness returns to the Queen City this week with six NCAA men's basketball tournament games at Spectrum Center in Uptown.

Why it matters: All eyes are on Charlotte when the Big Dance comes to town, Axios' Ashley Mahoney writes. Plus, thousands of fans will be staying in hotels, dining at restaurants and traveling through our airport this week.

Here are 5 things to know about the games in Charlotte

4. ๐Ÿ—ž Speed reads

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

โœ‰๏ธ WFAE's education reporter was sent a cease-and-desist letter from the headmistress of a private school. Ann Doss Helms was investigating whether the school, which receives state voucher money, actually exists. (WFAE)

๐Ÿ€ Charlotte 49ers basketball head coach Aaron Fearne is a finalist for the 2023-24 Joe B. Hall National Coach of the Year Award. (Axios)

๐Ÿฅ Novant Health and Atrium Health hospitals will lift visitor restrictions today at 7am. (Axios)

โ˜•๏ธ Plans for a coffee shop at JW Clay parking deck fell through because the city wouldn't grant its request to stay open later during Ramadan, according to sources who spoke to Channel 9. (WSOC)

๐Ÿ“Connecticut leaders say that if Mark Robinson becomes governor, they'll use his election to convince North Carolina companies to relocate to their state. (WTNH)

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Hiring? Post a job.

5. ๐ŸŽ Stat du jour: 34K missing students

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Just over 24% of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students were chronically absent in the first two quarters of this school year, according to data obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: Students risk falling behind when they miss 10% of school days or more.

By the numbers: In 2022-23, 25.6% of CMS students were absent, according to the NC School Report Cards website. The rates were higher among students of color.

  • Economically disadvantaged students were 34.07% chronically absent.

Zoom out: Chronic student absenteeism is a national trend exacerbated by the pandemic.

  • Statewide, 26.73% of public school students were chronically absent in 2023.

6. ๐Ÿ›ซ Lousy airport ranking

Share of flights departing on time from CLT
Data: Bureau of Transportation Statistics; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Charlotte Douglas International may rank as one of the busiest airports in the world, but it's one of the lousiest for timeliness.

  • The airport is tied for 69th out of 100 other U.S. airports for annual on-time departures in 2023, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report from the latest Transportation Department data.

By the numbers: For all of 2023, 79.3% of flights departing Charlotte were on time โ€” close to its prepandemic average of 79.5%, Ashley reports.

  • By the end of the year, on-time departures improved, with more than 82% of flights out of CLT taking off on time in December.

Keep reading

7. ๐Ÿ“ Weekend plans

Art After Dark at the Harvey B. Gantt Center in Uptown returns tomorrow. It's free to attend from 6-10pm. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

There's no shortage of fun things to do this weekend, from Harvey B. Gantt Center's after-dark museum experience to an indoor movie screening, plus:

๐Ÿ˜œ Friday: Unwind from the workweek with jokes and drinks at Southern Strain's Spring Fever Comedy Show in Plaza Midwood. Free. 6-7pm. Details

๐Ÿฐ Saturday: Take the kids to get pictures with the Easter bunny at Metropolitan. Free. 11am-2pm. Details

๐Ÿ Sunday: Do yoga with goats at NoDa Brewing Company's North End taproom. $40. 10:30am-12:30pm. Details

Full weekender: 30+ other things to do in Charlotte this weekend

๐Ÿชฉ Midnight Diner's owner also owned the business next door to its OG location. Uptown Cabaret was also known for its breakfast.

  • Brian Dominick tells me there's no news yet to share on a potential reopening.

Thanks to Katie Peralta Soloff for editing this newsletter and Lucia Maher for copy editing.