NoDa- Charlotte’s successful arts based revitalization story

I didn’t include the portion of NoDa between the railroad tracks and route 29 as it contains limited urban fabric.

NoDa is short for “North Davidson”. The area began as a self contained industrial village and development began in the early 1900s leapfrogging over undeveloped parts of the City. The main industry was mill and textile manufacturing. Worker’s housing was provided by the companies in small by sturdy bungalows and arts and craft homes. Things begin to deteriorate after WWII with the closing the mills and textile industries.  By the 1970s housing were deteriorating and many storefronts were vacant. Fortunately revitalization began in the 1990s fueled by an arts based renovation strategy. Investment continued over the past decades and its now safe to say that NoDa has been stabilized with most homes selling between 300-600K. This also brought back the historic commercial district at Davidson and 36th Street. NoDa now hosts Charlotte’s largest historic business district.

But there are plenty of areas that NoDa can improve. For one, there is only one school in the entire neighborhood, sidewalks are missing on many streets, and the Plaza Ave business district along NoDa eastern edge is pretty blighted and auto centric. There is also need for more density which could help provide more neighborhood amenities and vibrancy. 
Click here to view my NoDa album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Excellent public transit access including a light rail line running thorough and convenience access to Dwtn .
* Sidewalks are spotty as many residential streets don’t have them but where they do existing ADA infrastructure is current.
* Nice dedicated bike lane cutting down 36th thru the heart of Noda but no bike sharing stations.
* Excellent economic diversity and good racial and generational diversity.
* Large supply of rental housing generally skewing expensive. 1-bedrooms lease btwn $1,000-$1,500, 2-bedrooms in the $1,000s, and 3-bedrooms in the low $2,000s.
* Good tree canopy.
* Attractive historic archiecture and great urban infill.
* Great array of restaurants, bars, cafes, and breweries. Also lots of live music venues including a converted historic theater, and a few art galleries. Theneighborhood hosts regular gallery crawls.
* Retail amenities include  two supermarkets, a drugstore, many boutiques and creative stores.
* Generally a pretty safe district but certain still blight esp. along the eastern edge.
* Noda hosts the best historic neighborhood business districts in the city at 36th and Davidson St. extending several blocks. The Plaza Ave biz district along the eastern edge of the neighborhood is very auto centric and pretty blighted.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Street grid is good in the core of Noda but its great along edges of the neighborhood.
* For Sale housing is pretty expensive. Some for sale product reasonably priced in the 200K and low 300Ks. This include modest SF homes and 1-2 bedroom townhomes/condos. Most homes selling btwn 300K-500K. High end product selling btwn 600K-800K.
* decent recreation amenities including two neighborhood parks and the larger North Charlotte Park.
*  No museums, or historic sites.
* Missing a bookstore, public library, post office, and the nearest hospital is 10 minute drive. No major retailers here either.
* Schools limited to a Montessori an a couple of pre schools.
* Nice amount of pedestria activity at 36th and Davidson, but pretty quite otherwise. 

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