This content was created in partnership with Northwood Office.
Just over two decades ago, Ballantyne was a patch of undeveloped farmland nestled in South Charlotte. Today, it’s one of the city’s largest and fastest-growing suburbs.
While you’ll find many Charlotte millennials roosting in neighborhoods like South End and Plaza Midwood, a growing population of twenty and thirty-somethings are heading toward the outskirts of the city – choosing to live and work in Ballantyne.
Currently, there are over 71,000 people between the ages of 29-34 living within 10 miles of Ballantyne and that number is expected to grow even higher over the coming decade.
So what’s bringing millennials to the burbs? I talked to a few Ballantyne-dwellers to find out. Here are five major reasons:
The area has become a massive hub for jobs.
With Ballantyne being home to 300+ companies, the area is ripe with job opportunities. And we’re talking big name companies like Brighthouse Financial, Liberty Mutual, Campbell Snacks, Premier, Synchrony and Wells Fargo.
Work is what brought Scott Kelley (age 26) and his wife to Ballantyne over two years ago. He works at Cigna in Ballantyne, while his wife works at Movement Mortgage in Indian Land, SC.
They relocated from Nashville, TN and ended up falling in love with the community. “Ballantyne has been great for so many reasons,” says Kelley. “We’re both close to our work with less than 10 minute commutes. There are so many good restaurants and activities close by or easily accessible from here. We’ve also met a ton of great people.”
Ballantyne is filled with over 4 million square feet of class A office space with lots of opportunity for those in the financial technology and information science sectors.
Amanda Brooks (age 33, PR manager for ESPN) also lives and works in Ballantyne and, even with so many companies, Brooks says the area still feels welcoming and friendly. “Ballantyne feels like a community rather than overwhelmingly corporate.”
It doesn’t hurt that the 535-acre park is well-manicured and beautiful either. There are greenway paths and ponds and little pocket parks throughout.
Real estate is more affordable than in neighborhoods closer to Uptown.
If you’ve seen the price tags on homes close to Dilworth or the rent for a 2-bedroom in South End, you know it’s not cheap to live close to center city. Crumbling 1,500 square foot ranches built in the 1950’s are going for close to half a million dollars in some neighborhoods. For millennial home buyers, many of whom are first-time homebuyers, Ballantyne offers more affordable real estate.
According to Realtor.com, the median listing price for homes in Ballantyne West is $275,000 and $465,000 for homes in Ballantyne East (this is how the area is split).
For comparison, the median listing price for homes in Dilworth is $379,900. Doesn’t seem so bad until you look at the price per square foot. In Dilworth, it’s $309 per square foot. In Ballantyne East, it’s $157 per square foot. Ballantyne West is comparable with $151 per square foot.
Overall, Ballantyne offers millennial buyers more bang for their buck – more square footage, bigger property lots and there’s the added benefit of the homes being much newer.
The rent is more affordable too.
Along with less expensive homes, apartments are also more affordable in Ballantyne. Another reason drawing millennials to area.
Ballantyne is poised for insane growth over the next decade.
This past June, Northwood announced their plans for a 25-acre town center with shopping, restaurants, parks and thousands of apartments.
The project, called Ballantyne Reimagined, will completely transform parts of Ballantyne’s primarily corporate campus into walkable city blocks.
Ballantyne Reimagined will focus on things like walkability, public spaces, mixed-use development, clustered living and sustainability.
A taste of what’s to come is Northwood Office’s first development project, an 11-story, mixed-use building near Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne, and nearby all the future action of Ballantyne Reimagined. The project will deliver in early 2021. Check out new renderings for the project here.
The first 10 floors will include offices with floor-to-ceiling windows, and the top floor will be an amenity space with a rooftop terrace. Plans are also in place for a luxury apartment high rise from Northwood Ravin.
It’s home to a diverse restaurant and retail scene.
With shopping and dining hubs like Ballantyne Village and Ballantyne Commons East, Ballantyne has an already impressive roster of restaurants and retail.
While they have unique options like Gallery Restaurant, Zinicola and Fior Ballantyne, the area also boasts center city favorites like Cabo Fish Taco, Amelie’s and Midwood Smokehouse.
The area should expect to see even more growth in the restaurant and retail scene as the Ballantyne Reimagined project gets underway.
Ballantyne is a super active community.
Both Brooks and Kelley mentioned to me how much they loved how active the Ballantyne community is. “There are always people out and about on walking paths and bike lanes throughout the corporate park and surrounding neighborhoods,” says Brooks.
Ballantyne has a whopping 19 miles of walking paths and bike lanes, including the Fit Trail, which has 20 different exercise and stretch stations. You can also test out some of the greenways nearby — Lower McAlpine Creek, McMullen Creek and Four Mile Creek.
Kelley and his wife are also very active. “We love that there are great places like the greenways to walk around and our local YMCA has a great CrossFit program that we both participate in.”
Sara’s YMCA, located within the heart of Ballantyne, offers a wide variety of group workout classes like hot yoga and TRX. Standard memberships are $72 per month for the first adult; $29 for an additional adult; and $8 per child. The YMCA also offers custom rates according to income (for example, one adult making $50,000 annually can expect to pay $53 per month).
As a bonus, Ballantyne offers ongoing free fitness events for the community, ranging from bootcamp to yoga.
From farmland to a 2,000+ acre bustling community, one thing is for sure – Ballantyne has been busy putting themselves on the map over the past two decades.
Residents are excited to see what the future holds for the growing neighborhood. “I’m confident that the area will look more different than familiar in ten years, which is exciting,” says Kelley.
Interested in learning more about the Ballantyne area? Check out goBallantyne and Ballantyne Reimagined.
(This content was created in partnership with Northwood Office.)