University Place -- the lone "urban" scene in University City
A study of housing trends in the University City area concluded it needs more higher-end housing near the employment core. To do that will require branding, strong and sustained marketing, supportive rezoning and significantly improved area schools.
The study, "Developing a Diverse Housing Stock in University City," from UNC Charlotte's Center for Real Estate, was funded by University City Partners and mentioned in the UCP newsletter for December.
The study notes that builders appear to have targeted the area for starter homes and townhouses. "Policymakers and the business community worry whether this will prevent University City from attracting and retaining upwardly mobile professionals," the report said.
The area lacks the urban-style communities that younger professionals most desire, other than at University Place.
Positives it cites: a big employment center, some large parks and greenways, UNCC, University Place, and the proposed light rail line.
To lure more affluent workers and higher-end housing, the study suggests:
- Brand: Figure out what qualities make UC special.
- Market: Devise a long-term plan to promote that image, getting help from the real estate community.
- Urbanize: Encourage more urban-style development along the future light rail line on North Tryon Street.