Recently we pitched Fox Charlotte to feature South End for one of their stories in the ReBoot Charlotte series. Below is the link for the story and follow up interview as well as the story as taken from their website. Special thanks to all the South End businesses who participated and to Renee LaSalle with Fox Charlotte for the story.
ReBoot Charlotte: South End Design Hub – website
Renee LaSalle, reporter / Tim Mullican, photojournalist
Charlotte, NC – Take a walk through Charlotte’s South End and you’ll know why it’s called the city’s unofficial creative district. In the past 20 years South End has experienced an artistic & economic rejuvenation. Now, nearly two-thirds of its businesses are considered part of an extended creative core. Charlotte’s Center City Partners says it’s even more. Ted Boyd, Center City Partners Director of Historic South End says, “South End has really emerged as Charlotte’s design hub.” Ferguson South End showroom manager Sonia Gant says that’s right on the money, “The stores that are in this area just naturally scream design.” The pluming & lighting store sits in the heart of South End. Gant says the mix of major chains and small independent stores gives the area a healthy feel. For interior designer Tom Holley the easy access to tile, fabric, and building companies means a win-win for his Crazy Jane’s clients, “If you don’t know them you want to know of them and you want them close by.”
Balfour Beatty Construction pegged the community’s accessibility for its employees. Marketing manager Beth Hernandez says, “We love being right here near the light rail and also having places where they can go during the day to shop or dine.” Center City Partners surveyed more than 830 business for its South End Business Study. It found 34% of the South End’s retail companies are design related, selling either furnishings & interiors or garden supplies. On the commercial side, 28% of the South End’s businesses catered toward design, from architecture & engineering to construction & building. Business in the South End goes beyond retail and commercial design. Thanks to the creative vibe the area is a hub for art galleries and other artistic & design companies. Allegra South End Consulting Partner John Oaks says the stimulating energy helps the print & design company thrive, “When your business runs on ingenuity and imagination it’s nice to work in an area where you can see that demonstrated 100 times everyday.” 3pm Creative Group owner Kara Hollinger-Bulla moved the branding company to the South End thanks to the eclectic synergy, “By being around like minded people it really makes us push our boundaries and not become ordinary.”
Boyd says the creative environment is no accident, it stems from a movement which built the Carolinas Design Center and an intentional branding by the community. He says that’s part of reason South End will continue to grow. Center City Partners expects to release its South End Business Survey by the end of August.