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Magic Moments and Memories

by Tim Newman

April 3,2004

So where does the Center City go from here? In the wake of Charlotte Center City Partners’ first ever public annual meeting and quarterly board meeting, there is much on the table at this point in our history.

Despite a tough economy and the post- September 11th environment, we have over $500 million in new construction underway, highlighted by Johnson & Wales’ new campus to debut this Fall, our new arena that will open in 2005 featuring the Bobcats and Sting, and ImaginOn, the beautiful new children’s learning center that will open next year.

Now that these facilities are coming online and the economy is picking up, we have the opportunity to take the Center City to new levels in three areas: jobs, amenities and events.

On the jobs front, we are working closely with the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and the Charlotte Regional Partnership on economic development prospects to grow the employment base in the Center City. We are seeking to bring companies here that have business ties with our current employers. The greater our employment base, the greater the likelihood of amenities and events coming to our neighborhood.

We continue to seek dining, shopping and other entertainment amenities to make the Center City a great place to live and play. At our board meeting on March 18th, Spectrum Properties gave an overview of redevelopment plans for the old Convention Center. Highlights include a multiscreen movie theater, roof-top dining and entertainment, and bold colors, lighting and signage. The new urban entertainment complex will make a wonderful attraction replacing a vacant eyesore. Final details on the project will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

Last week, at our annual meeting, International Downtown Association President Dave Feehan noted in his keynote address that the best downtowns are those that provide magic, moments and memories. Charlotte is right on track to create a vibrant and attractive Center City experience that will entertain, educate and inspire residents and visitors alike.

Events in the Center City continue to reach new heights. “Taste of the Nation” arrives in Charlotte on April 6th and 7th, “Avenue of the Arts” and “Taste of Charlotte” roll around May 1st and 2nd, and “Charlotte Shout” will be bigger and better this September with Master Chefs Martin Yan and Tyler Florence already confirmed for our Culinary Experience.

It’s a great time to be in the Center City, and I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts with you. Did I mention that we may soon have a full-service drug store with night and weekend hours? I’ll see you around the neighborhood.

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