Charlotte is crawling with social, wealthy and driven young professionals. A Soho House (or a Soho House clone) would be immediately popular in this city.
While some of our young professionals will age into paying the $80,000 initiation fee for club memberships at top-tier country clubs like Myers Park Country Club and Charlotte Country Club (both of which have wait lists) — many young professionals are looking for a different set of amenities.
That’s where Soho House would come in.
Soho House is a members-only club with 18 houses around the world. They’re mostly found in big cities like New York, Chicago, London and Berlin. House amenities typically include a lounge, spa, restaurant, gym, coworking, pool, screening room and hotel. No golf. No tennis.
Soho House targets people working in the creative industries. They offer memberships where you can join a local house or all their houses. They also offer a discount to people under age 27.
Membership fees are about $2,000 a year. Similar to, although less intense than, top-tier clubs in Charlotte, prospective members must be nominated by two existing Soho House members for consideration.
If you’re looking to dive deeper, Eater did a great Soho House explainer. I love this line in their story: “Soho House is exclusive, but more than that, Soho House is cool.”
Honestly, I’m surprised a coworking company, hotelier or developer hasn’t created this type of private club offering in Charlotte. The closest thing feels like Charlotte City Club.
It’s unlikely that we’re on Soho House’s radar. With only 18 houses, there are a lot more cities that would be ahead of us in their global expansion plans.
So it would need to be a local developer that would create a Soho House clone. Make no mistake, it would be an expensive development bet. You’d have to be in a hot neighborhood like South End where real estate prices are sky high. And you’d have to spend significantly on design to create the coolness that Soho House has pioneered.
But given our growing population of young, wealthy professionals, there’s no doubt in my mind that thousands of Charlotteans would line up for a members-only club catering to the tastes and needs of our city’s emerging creative class.
Cover photo via Soho House Chicago / Facebook