South End sees growth in business community

by: Sarah Rosario Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Leaders in South End say more than 40 businesses have opened up in the area during the past five months.

The boom in business is welcome for many in the area, but it's not the only boost for the economy.

Several developers are building apartment complexes, which are expected to produce an economic impact of more than $200 million.

Historic South End Director Ted Boyd said it means big things for the economy.

"I think that $200 million is a conservative estimate, and that's just with the apartments that are being built right now," said Boyd.

Boyd said South End projects in the works now will provide around 2400 apartment units. The economic impact estimate doesn't include a proposed grocery store in the empty lot across the street from Lowe's or an animal clinic that is already under construction.

Like all new developments, the added business could bring added traffic, something Boyd said he thinks South End can handle.

Many people move to the area because it's on the Light Rail and others take advantage of the Bike Share.

Boyd said there are also plans in the works for more sidewalks, pedestrian lighting and improvements to both South Boulevard and South Tryon.

Eyewitness News spoke to one South End resident who said not everyone will be happy about the traffic.

"It's miserable so people are going to get real mad. It's going to be road rage over here," said Todd Armstrong.

Added traffic can be good news for businesses. Bite Your Tongue restaurant owner Lucius Johnson said he's looking forward to new clientele.

"When I come in around 8 or 9 in the morning, the train is packed. So, it think that will help cut down on the traffic here in South End and other surrounding areas," said Johnson.

Crispy Crepe, the newest restaurant to the area, opened last month. It's located in retail space below an apartment complex, so it's a prime location for people who live there.

One appealing thing <can't be unique if it's true of several complexes> about several of the apartment complexes in South End is that they have designated spots for businesses, providing benefits to both residents and owners.

South End is a special tax district. People who live there pay an incremental property tax of 0.67%.

That money is designated for development in South End, encouraging economic growth.