by: Tenikka Smith Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Fresh off being named one of the hippest neighborhoods in Charlotte by Gawker.com, Plaza Midwood continues to make its mark, literally.
The neighborhood was just awarded a $25,000 matching grant from the city.
Leaders said it will be used for 24 street sign toppers and two large stone gateway signs, all bearing the Plaza Midwood name.
A portion of the money will also be used to repair or replace historic district markers throughout the neighborhood.
Construction could start as early as late spring and will be finished by November next year.
Blake Barnes owns the Common Market.
"It shows the diversity and individuality of this neighborhood is being celebrated, which is absolutely awesome," he said.
He said the unique flair of the neighborhood benefits entreprenuers and customers.
"This part of town dances to a different beat in that every business over here is generally extremely small, locally owned." Barnes said. "We live in our own neighborhood and that's something that's hard to find in the city of Charlotte."
Mark Griffin's family lives in Plaza Midwood and he sells real estate here, too, with Nestlewood Realty.
He said the area has exploded out of the recession with new homes and businesses, including a revamped Harris Teeter.
Griffin said the latest steps to brand the neighborhood is a smart move that will continue to help it stand out and draw more people in.
"We're just going to continue to grow. We are well on our way," Griffin said.
The gateway signs could be in the median between Kensington Drive and School Street as well as Mecklenburg and Belvedere avenues.
The neighborhood will work with Charlotte Department of Transportation to determine the placement of the new signs.