Long before Charlotte's Light Rail line is extended to northward, it is already attracting development.
On Wednesday a groundbreaking ceremony will be held in NoDa for a new apartment complex.
There's no question the prospect of a light rail stop nearby helped make it happen.
"That was a huge factor, " said John Bell with the development company Guest Partners. "The fact that we're coming is largely due to the fact that the light rail is coming in. It encourages development."
The complex, which will include 342 apartments and town homes on 10 acres directly behind the Johnston YMCA, will be called The Yards at NoDA.
The site sits right along the planned route for the city's light rail line with a view of the uptown skyline.
It's the kind of development that light rail supporters say will spread along the extension.
The development in NoDa is already getting attention from nearby businesses eager for the approximately 500 residents expected to move in.
At the popular Cabo Fish Taco restaurant on North Davidson Manager Walter Penilla says he expects an increase in customers. "It'll kind of open it up to a lot more people," he said. "It'll help to build the neighborhood."
There are those who wonder if NoDa's eclectic mix of art and edginess will survive if new development continues. "I don't know," said Andrew Cheek. "People can be afraid that it'll kill the image of NoDa."
John Bell says he's already planning how to make sure his apartment complex blends in.
"What we wanted to do is extend the texture and the fabric of NoDa into the community, " Bell says.
He says part of the project design includes "planned" graffiti on the walls of apartment buildings that back up to the light rail line.
Bell says he expects construction to be completed by the spring of next year.