The northeast portion of Mecklenburg County is better known as University City, aptly named for a fast-paced, high-growth area centered around a university. The University area gets its name from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the fourth largest of the state’s public universities with a student population of more than 20,000.
University City has seen phenomenal growth in the last 15 years. At every turn, the area
offers new neighborhoods, new shopping centers and new office buildings. University City is home to more than 135,000 people more than one-sixth of the county’s population and is projected to grow past 165,000 by 2009.
Even if you don’t attend classes or work at UNCC, the college makes a great neighbor. During basketball season, check out the 49ers
in the Halton Arena, where they boast an impressive winning record. In 2005, the men’s team reached a No. 18 ranking and went on to play in the NCAA tournament.
If you’re a sports fan, you can’t miss Lowe’s Motor Speedway
, up the road in Cabarrus County. Known to NASCAR enthusiasts as the Mecca of Motorsports, it’s the largest sports facility in the Southeast. Close by, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
brings performers and bands for music enthusiasts of all types.
Not far away, there’s plenty of work going on in University Research Park, off W.T. Harris Boulevard. The park is home to many large customer service and support operations, including the giant Wachovia Customer Information Center
Another major employer that has major offices in University Research Park is TIAA-CREF
, a national provider of retirement fund services. Other major employers in the area include IBM, Verbatim, EDS, AT&T, OnStar and Digital Optics.
With so many companies locating in the area, homes have readily followed. Numerous developments dot what was once country farmland. Highland Creek
, on Ridge Road, is one of the area’s top-selling communities, offering homes in almost all price ranges clustered around a much-heralded golf course. More new neighborhoods are appearing around the exits along I-85 headed toward Concord and Cabarrus County.
The area has seen an explosion in retail development, and that’s expected to continue. Concord Mills
mall, off I-85, opened in 1999 and is the state’s second-largest shopping center. Another popular shopping draw is University Place
. It’s a great spot to catch a movie, dine at one of several restaurants that encircle a manmade lake or do some power shopping at one of the big-box retailers. On warm summer evenings, it’s often possible to catch the sounds of an outdoor band while enjoying the ducks on the lake.
Near the I-77/I-485 interchange, Northlake Mall
opened in 2005 as north Mecklenburg’s first major mall. In addition to 150 specialty stores, the mall is anchored by Dillard’s, Belk, Hecht’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and a 14-screen cinema megaplex. The 1.1-million-square-foot facility brought thousands of new jobs to the area.
Carolinas Medical Center-University, on W.T. Harris just south of Tryon, provides medical care to northeast Mecklenburg and Cabarrus residents. The 130-bed hospital includes a maternity center, sleep center, outpatient services, general medical-surgical services and a new 33-room women’s center. In a collaborative effort, Carolinas Medical Center-University and the YMCA of Greater Charlotte have opened a CMC Health Center located inside the University City YMCA to provide preventive health education and wellness programs to the community.
There’s plenty of opportunity for indoor and outdoor recreation in University City. The University City YMCA
at Harris and Mallard Creek Road is always bustling with activity. The Mallard Creek Greenway
, is a paved walking trail along the creek. Charlotte Sports Center
, located just off Harris Boulevard on Hankins Road, is one of the largest indoor athletic facilities in the country. This 75,000-square-foot athletic center offers indoor basketball, volleyball, inline hockey, soccer, flag football and lacrosse on a pay-to-play basis. The sports center also offers paid memberships for Peak Fitness
, its full-service, 15,000-square-foot workout center.
Allen Tate Company