Charlotte will run out of real estate to develop by 2030

Charlotte will run out of real estate to develop by 2030
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Charlotte is a massive, sprawling city.

Take a drive outbound from the center city in any direction if you don’t believe me. Pass shopping center after shopping center on Rea Road or Providence Road headed south for your best examples.

Blakeney Shopping

Blakeney Shopping Center

But before you get to Waxhaw, or the South Carolina state line, or Mountain Island Lake — you’ll still find trees. There’s land yet to be developed.

Not for long.

Projections from UNC Charlotte and the Catawba Lands Conservancy estimate that Mecklenburg County will be all but out of developable land by 2030. The maps are fascinating.

Keep in mind this study was done in 2008, so the maps from 2010 on are projections. But this development is happening in real time. Take a look at the Waverly development down Providence Road or Riverbend Village in Mountain Island Lake for examples.

Development won’t stop there.

Yes, Charlotte/Mecklenburg County might get tapped out in the next decade — but sprawl will continue on from there. Fast forward another three decades, and urbanists are expecting one big mega-city from Atlanta all the way up the I-85 corridor to Raleigh by 2060.

Figure from N.C. State researchers in the journal Plos One.

Fascinating to think about, and even more reason to preserve green space in our city while we still can.

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