• Officials looking to more retail options uptown

    By: Peter Daut


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Shoppers can buy everything from sandwiches to soap at uptown's Seventh Street Public Market but many shoppers wish the area had a lot more to offer.
    That's where Chris Hemans comes in. Charlotte City Partners just named him its first director of retail.
    His job is to help create a better shopping environment in uptown and South End with more variety.
    "It's going to increase the number of jobs that we have but also increase the tax base that we have in our center city," Hemans said.
    He said Charlotte has untapped potential with the ability to support an additional 335,000-square feet of retail in uptown. He said that alone could lead to potential annual sales-revenue of $123 million.
    "We know there's a demand for more retail here, the question is how do we get it here? How do we attract it here? And then how we can sustain it here?" he said.
    Hemans previously managed Chicago's retail program and plans to collaborate with Charlotte's public and private stakeholders to strengthen retail markets.
    The owner of uptown's Local Loaf bakery welcomes fresh business.
    "Definitely a need for more retail. I feel like we lost a lot of retail when the South Park mall opened up and to bring some of that back is a good idea," owner Adam Spears said.
    Hemans will also lead efforts to implement strategies from the 2013 uptown and South End retail studies conducted by Charlotte City Partners.

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