Elizabeth- Charlotte’s main urban Institutional District

* Great access to Dwtn and high quality transit service including a light rail line that runs through the district.
* Dedicated bike lanes and bike sharing stations are concentrated in the north section of the district.
* ADA and sidewalk infrastructure is generally good but can be uncomfortable for pedestrians to cross several busy streets.
* Lots of attractive historic Pre WWII Single family homes in the residential areas of Elizabeth.
* Quality tree canopy, especially in the residential portion of the district.
* Large supply of rental housing generally skewing expensive. 1-bedrooms lease btwn $1,000-$1,500, 2-bedrooms in the $1,000s to the low $2,000s, and 3-bedrooms in the high $1,000s and $2,000s.
* Independence Park is an expansive, centrally located park with lots of recreational amenities. Other parks in Elizabeth include: Chantilly Park, Colonial Park, Elizabeth Park (more of an urban plaza), and convenient access to Little Sugar Creek bike & recreational path.
* Culturally a nice array of restaurants, bars, & cafes, several live music venues, live performances at Central Piedmont Community College, and a couple art galleries.
* Good retail amenities including convenient access to several supermarkets, a target, drug stores, a handful of boutiques & creative stores, a public library, lots of bank branches, and several hospitals- some of the best in the regional are located here. The Midtown shopping district is adjacent to Elizabeth and includes a Target, Marshall’s, BestBuy, West Elm, and much more.
Click here to view my Elizabeth Album on Flickr


* Decent racial diversity but limited economic and generational diversity. Large student population here and only 1/4 of households have children.
* For Sale housing is almost as expensive as Dilworth. Some for sale product reasonably priced. 1-bedroom condos sell in the high 100s & 300Ks. Modest SF homes sell btwn 400L-800K,  larger homes 800K to 1.25 Million.
*  No museums, Historic theaters or historic sites, but good access to museums located Dwtn.
* Schools are limited to an elementary. Some schools nearby in adjacent districts.
* Urban infill is a mixed bag. More recent in-fill has decent design and good urban form but lots of ugly auto friendly institutional bldgs from the 60s-90s.
* Urban massing of commercial districts and mixed-use bldgs is also a mixed bag. Lots of surface parking and vacant lots here around the institutions (esp. hospitals).
* Decent vibrant at commercial nodes (10th Street, 7th & Pecan/Hawthorne, and Elizabeth Ave) but lots of dead zones.


Some overlap btwn my evaluation areas of Elizabeth and Commonwealth along 10th Street.

Elizabeth began to rapidly developed after 1902, when a trolley line was completed. The neighborhood was annexed into Charlotte in 1907. The district is home to the City’s first public park (Independence Park) and home to many large early 20th century single family homes which sale generally close to 1 Million. Elizabeth can be divided into two halves: the primarily institutional north (home to Central Piedmont Community College,  Novant Health Presbyterian, Atrium Health Mercy, and many churches); and the primarily residential southern half. Several quality urban pockets stand out in this semi-autocentric neighborhood (i.e. 10th Street, 7th St & Pecan, & Elizabeth Ave).

The most important area for Elizabeth to improve is filling in with dense mixed-use development the many surface parking lots and vacant lot surrounding the large institutions. This could help create a wonderful urban district connecting seamlessly to Downtown and other inner ring neighborhoods. Improved urban massing is also needed along the major commercial corridors mentioned above. All this would help boast density, making Elizabeth more walkable and amenity rich. 

Elizabeth, PA- an attractive historic Mon Valley Town

This is an old town for Mon Valley standards. It was incorporated in 1834 as a borough and had a population of 1,120 in 1850. Elizabeth maxed its population in 1940 at just under 3,000. Currently the Borough retains about half of its population, not terrible for a Mon Valley community as most have lost 66%. Early Elizabeth specialized in glass making, steamboat building, and ship building.

The center of Elizabeth has seen a fair amount of reinvestment with repurposed buildings and an attractive streetscape on 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Also some nicely preserved mid-late 19th century housing just SW of Dwtn. To become a viable urban place Elizabeth needs more stores and revitalized buildings, bike infrastructure, at least a couple walkable schools within the borough limits, and better parks. 
Click here to view the entire Elizabeth album on Flickr.


* Great tree cover and a fair amount of street trees as well.
* Good connectivity with gridded streets.
* Good economic diversity here with a slightly above average poverty rate.
* Population skews old but high percentage of family households (60%).
* Decent mix of for-sale housing 30K and the upper 100Ks, but certainly skews lower market.
* Pretty good neighborhood amenities including a post office, a drug store, dollar general, bakery, florist, a supermarket on the edge of town, and some nice boutiques and local stores.
* While there is some blight in the industrial waterfront and residential areas, not bad for the Mon valley. This seems like a pretty safe place.
* Excellent streetscape in Elizabeth’s modest dwtn. Good urban form as well helped by its mid-late 19th century fabric.
* Attractive historic buildings especially in the center of town. 


* Low density.
* No bike infrastructure.
* Decent access to Oakland & Downtown Pittsburgh as they are only a 30-40 minute drive. But public transit access is pretty limited.
* Not very racially diverse at the population is about 90% White.
* Rentals are limited but inexpensive.
* 3 modest parks exist in Elizabeth. None of them are spectacular.
* Cultural amenities include two community theaters and a handful of restaurants, cafes, and bars.
* No schools located within the borough all out in the outskirts.
* Really no modern in-fill here.