by: Tenikka Smith Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The EpiCentre plans to add more tenants and events geared toward families.
Business leaders at the uptown hotspot told Eyewitness News they want to capitalize on the momentum from the Democratic National Convention and continue to be the uptown gathering place for people of all ages.
One of Channel 9’s news crews found Nathan Smith and his fiancée, Erika, taking their 1-year-old son, Carson, for a stroll near the EpiCentre. They said they thought parents would like the idea of having more uptown options for their children.
“I think it would gain appeal. You bring the family-oriented restaurants and other things, just not the nightclub scene, you could definitely add more appeal for the children,” Smith said.
Adding new restaurants would be one element EpiCentre's Business Development Director Ed Camp said he hoped would attract more parents and children to the area.
"Restaurants that do breakfast and lunch -- we're looking for diner concepts. We're looking for other things where families can do birthday parties and celebrations of all types," he said.
Camp told Eyewitness News he got the idea to market to families last year.
"I started about a year ago, and 'Disney on Ice' was at Time Warner Arena and the kids were sitting outside in their costumes, and I thought, ‘They should be in EpiCentre. We should be doing things for them,’” he said.
The EpiCentre already started a "Kids Club" earlier this year where they hold free monthly events. This month, Camp said that kids can enjoy pre- and post-parties for "Disney on Ice." The EpiCentre will also host a children's Halloween party.
Dad Mark Livingston said while he's doubtful he would make the trek from his home in south Charlotte to hang out with his daughters in uptown, he still thinks the EpiCentre's plans are a good idea and would benefit the area in more ways than one.
“It might attract more people to uptown and increase the economic benefit to the uptown area,” Livingston said.
Eyewitness News asked Camp about some of the future family-friendly tenants coming to uptown. Camp said he couldn't reveal details yet, but said the EpiCentre is currently reviewing lease agreements for possible tenants.