Axios Charlotte

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February 01, 2024

Good morning, Charlotte. And welcome to Black History Month. It's Katie.

โ˜€๏ธ Weather: Sunny and 59ยฐ. Give me this weather year-round.

๐Ÿ™ Shoutout to our members for supporting our local journalism! Join them.

Today's Smart Brevityโ„ข๏ธ count is 895 words โ€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Charlotte's Black-owned businesses

Archive owner Cheryse Terry. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Charlotte is full of successful Black-owned businesses โ€” from decades-old family-run restaurants that still use the same recipes to newer, inclusive apparel boutiques.

By the numbers: Charlotte ranks as the No. 7 hub for Black-owned businesses in the U.S., per a 2023 report from Charlotte-based LendingTree. Black-owned businesses make up 4.9% of all small businesses in our metro.

Here are just some of the 80+ Black-owned businesses in Charlotte on our list that Axios' Alexis Clinton and McKenzie Rankin have updated:

๐Ÿฉ Beyond Amazing Donuts, a popular spot from owner and chef Jasmine "Jazz" Macon, the former pastry chef at Leah & Louise.

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Love in Action Cafe, which serves plant-based comfort food favorites, from meatless meatloaf to vegan sweet potato pie.

๐Ÿชฉ NC Dance District, an adult hip-hop dance studio that was founded by former Charlotte Bobcats dancer Ana Ogbueze.

๐Ÿ‘• 704 Shop, a clothing store of Charlotte-inspired apparel founded in 2013 by three former UNC Charlotte roommates.

Full guide of Charlotte's 80+ Black-owned businesses

2. ๐Ÿ—๏ธ Fewer cranes in our skyline

Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Notice fewer cranes in the sky?

  • The development pipeline in Uptown and South End is about $2.7 billion less than it was around this time last year, according to a year-end growth report that Charlotte Center City Partners released yesterday.

By the numbers: In Uptown and South End, $4.2 billion of development is either under construction or expected to break ground by 2025, Axios' Alexandria Sands writes.

Yes, but: Last year's total was $6.9 billion โ€” nearly a $3 billion leap from the prior year's report.

What's happening: A shrinking demand for offices could be partially to blame for the decline in new construction. Last year, CCCP reported 7.2 million square feet of office space in the pipeline.

  • Now around 2.2 million is either under construction or proposed.
  • Development, in general, is stalling because of high interest rates and inflation.

Why it matters: Uptown is transitioning from a central business district to a "central activity district," CCCP executives tell Axios.

  • A strong tourism and event sector โ€” evidenced by major happenings like the Beyoncรฉ concert and MLS games โ€” is making up for the lost vibrancy that's resulted from employees working from home instead of office towers.
  • "We've been very interested in Uptown becoming a more complete place," says Michael Smith, the organization's president and CEO. "The softness that we're enduring around office is creating a vacuum."

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3. By the numbers: State of Center City

Photo: Andy Weber/Axios

Charlotte Center City Partners' annual report is full of other interesting stats about Uptown, South End and Midtown, Alex writes.

  • 40,200 new workers can fit in all the office space built since 2020. South End office space has doubled since 2018.
  • 130,000 people are estimated to work in the center city.
  • 47% of workers are hybrid. Prepandemic, the rate was 40%.
  • 90% of buildings delivered in the last three years are more than 90% leased.
  • $2K is the average rent for a South End apartment. Uptown is somewhat cheaper, at $1,960.
  • 30 is the median age in South End. Uptowners are a little older: 33.
  • $364,200 is what you'll pay for the average home in the Charlotte metro area.
  • The 8th busiest day in Uptown in 2023 was the day of Beyoncรฉ's concert, when there were 191,000 visits. Luke Combs topped her on July 15 with 264,000 visits.
  • 33 new Uptown businesses op in 2023. 29 did in South End.

4. Gun discoveries surge at CLT

Data source: Data: Transportation Security Administration; Chart: Axios Visuals

2023 was a record year for Charlotte Douglas International Airport in more ways than one, Axios' Ashley Mahoney writes.

State of play: While fewer guns were discovered at North Carolina airports overall in 2023, more were found at Charlotte, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Why it matters: Charlotte's airport is one of the busiest in the world, with a record 53.4 million passengers last year.

By the numbers: TSA discovered a record 124 firearms at CLT last year. North Carolina saw a decrease from 250 in 2022 to 236 in 2023.

  • TSA discovered 6,737 firearms at airports nationwide.

What they're saying: Many passengers say they forgot they were carrying a firearm in their carry-on, NPR reported.

  • "It also reflects a wider trend towards increased gun ownership and state and local laws," TSA spokesperson Alexa Lopez told NPR.

Full story

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5. Mayor Vi Lyles' new home paused and other speed reads

Animation: Brendan Lynch/Axios

๐Ÿก Mayor Vi Lyles' planned new home construction in McCrorey Heights is on pause after the Historic District Commission requested revisions. Lyles demolished an old house on the site last February. (Observer ๐Ÿ”’)

๐Ÿ’ฐ Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials are warning that the end of federal pandemic-era aid could lead to job cuts and reassignments in the coming budget year. (WFAE)

๏ธโšฝ๏ธ Charlotte FC will host Cruz Azul and play at Philadelphia Union this summer in Leagues Cup. (Axios)

๐Ÿˆ Brandt Tilis has been named the Carolina Panthers executive VP of football operations. He will oversee player contract negotiations. (Panthers)

6. A busy weekend ahead in Charlotte

Winey Grapes: Indoor Wine Festival will return at Slate on February 3. Photo: Courtesy of Bottoms Up Events

There's something for everyone in Charlotte this weekend.

Alexis put together a roundup of fun things going on around town in coming days, including:

๐ŸŽถ Friday: Enjoy live music from local musicians and art installations along the Rail Trail.

๐Ÿฆช Saturday: Eat and drink your way through a festival with oysters, clams, mussels, wine and beer at Ballantyne's Backyard.

๐Ÿƒ Sunday: Play a game of euchre (!) with brunch and drinks at SupperClub SouthEnd.

Of note: This Midwesterner is delighted to hear that euchre events are happening in Charlotte. For years I couldn't find anyone who'd even heard of it.

Full weekender

๐Ÿ’— Wanna go on a date โ€” on us?! Applications for our next blind date are open. Apply here by Monday, Feb. 5.

This newsletter was copy edited by Lucia Maher.