South End’s Atherton Mill is becoming the rich millennial go-to spot. Goodbye, Bonz.
Myers Park’s Park Road Shopping Center is becoming the rich go-to spot. Goodbye, Monkey Joe’s.
Don’t worry, Elizabeth, soon your 7th Street Shops (I didn’t even know this shopping center had a name) will get Park-Road-Shopping-Center-ified. You’ll likely say goodbye to Max’s Sandwich Shop and that Coin Laundry within a few years.
As the rich get richer in Charlotte, savvy real estate developer EDENS is there to give the rich what they want: park once, spend the afternoon/evening in a lush, urban shopping center with people like you.
EDENS brings their rolodex of rich person retail brands, invests in the shopping center and raises rent on current tenants. It’s a brilliant strategy and the execution is flawless. I have a ton of respect for EDENS.
Atherton Mill will now have Luna’s Living Kitchen, O-Ku, Alton Lane, Warby Parker, Anthropologie, Free People, high end apartments and more.
Park Road Shopping Center will now have CO, Burtons, Chopt, Urban Cookhouse, Rocksalt, Amelie’s, J. Crew Mercantile, Midwood Smokehouse and more.
Of course, this phenomena isn’t unique to Charlotte, it’s happening throughout our country.
I was struck by this New York Times article, How the Other Fifth Lives.
The article argues, “For years now, people have been talking about the insulated world of the top 1 percent of Americans, but the top 20 percent of the income distribution is also steadily separating itself — by geography and by education as well as by income.”
Here’s a fancy chart in case you don’t read good.
In my job as a media owner, I get to see and meet a ton of different people. This has forced me to become acutely self-aware of the economic divides in our city. It’s not that wealthy people are dumb or insensitive, it’s just that they don’t have exposure to rest of our city.
It’s entirely too easy for the upper class in Charlotte to live their day to day lives with only encountering people that look like them.
And this is bad. Really bad.