South End/Wilmore- Charlotte’s hottest mixed-use neighborhood

Wilmore is the larger district, which technically includes the South End District. South End really wasn’t a “neighborhood” until recently. The Wilmore district is mostly attractive 1920s-1940s bungalow and arts & crafts housing. The South End is the portion of Wilmore running along the Lynx Blue line (built in 2007). Historically the South End area hosted Charlotte’s first railroad line, connecting the City to Columbia and Charleston in 1850s. As time passed, a thriving manufacturing community sprang up along the tracks, centered on the booming textile industry. Industry decline by the 1980s, and the South End became notorious for abandoned buildings. The new Blue Line and the general “return to the city” movement sparked an explosion of renovations and new mixed-use construction in the South End. In 2018 the South End was named one of the fastest-growing submarket in the United States for apartments.

Wilmore/South End’s success is creating gentrification issues for this historically African American neighborhood. It is hard to purchase a nice home here for less than 400K. I also observed the South End demographic was mostly young profession and white, not the kind of diversity desirable in a dense urban area. Other deficiencies in the district include a lack of walkable schools, limited pedestrian infrastructure in Wilmore, and the density is still low for an urban neighborhood.
Click here to view my South End and Wilmore Districts on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Great public transit and very convenient access to dwtn among all modes of transportation.
* Great racial and economic diversity in Wilmore. I fear though, that is historically African American district is being displaced with the rapid increase in real estate prices here.
* Excellent urban infill (prob the best in Charlotte) with larger mixed-use structures near the light rail and plenty of attractive historic looking infill homes within Wilmore.
* Good supply of rentals but generally expensive… 1-bedrooms lease btwn $1,000-$2,000, 2-bedrooms in the high $1,000s and $2,000s, and 3-bedrooms in the 2K and 3Ks. 
* Several nice parks (i.e. Wilmore & Revolution Park) site on the north edge of the district. Nice bike/recreational trail along the light rail line.
* Solid tree canopy.
* Great array of restaurants, bars, cafes, and live music venues concentrated in the South End areas.
* Solid urban form in the south end and with good streetscaping. The other biz district along Tyron still feels very auto centric.
* Good array neighborhood amenities especially in the South End including lots of small retailers, boutiques, furniture/design stores, post office, several banks, an office depot, Lowes, a couple drug stores, and several super markets

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* The south end portion of the district near the light rail has excellent walkability. More mixed in the residential portions of Wilmore where sidewalks are sometimes missing and its very unpleasant to cross Tryon St. as a pedestrian.
* For Sale housing is generally expensive. Modest SF cottages and bungalows generally sell in the high 200Ks to 500K. Renovated SF and new construction sell btwn 500-700K. Some large condo product selling in the 400Ks & 500Ks.
* Really no museums, art galleries, or theaters, although one is along about 1.5 miles to dwtn.
* No schools in Wilmore and few nearby. 

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