East, west sides of Charlotte work together for progress

by: Tenikka Smith Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - On the west side of Charlotte, a boarded up grocery store sits right across the street from Mosaic Village, a new living and retail complex in the northwest corridor of Beatties Ford Road.

On the east side of the city, a vacant shopping center is just yards from a brand new Walmart on Independence Boulevard.
 
East Charlotte and west Charlotte are miles apart, but closely related in terms of the challenges both face and promise for the future.
 
"We are connected in so many ways,” Aaron McKeithan with the Historic West End Partners said.
 
Both sides also share a perception that one is competing against the other for local resources.

District 5 Charlotte City Council Rep. John Autry wants to change that.

He helped spearhead an east-west summit taking place Saturday where neighbors and stakeholders from both sides will come together to create a partnership instead.
 
"Work on some relationships, build some trust so that when items come before city, county that could benefit east and west side we'll have a network that they can quickly advocate," said Autry.
 
McKeithan worked with Autry to get the idea off the ground and said this isn't about politics.  He said "It's about showcasing the two parts of the city." As well as strategically planning for their futures.
 
"It's important for city that east side and west side are revitalized and regenerated so they can be better contributors to the tax base and take come of the burden off the southern wedge,” Autry said.
 
In addition to discussing topics like development and transportation, residents also plan to talk about plans to work together on community service projects in both sides of the city. 
 
The meeting will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Carole Hoefener Community Center, 610 E. Seventh St.