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Living in Charlotte's University City

Just a few years ago, the University area was a city unto itself, built around the UNC Charlotte campus and separated from the rest of the city by 12 miles of interstate.

That’s all changed. While the University City area still enjoys the benefits of a hospital, major university, North Carolina’s only IKEA location and a research park, it’s also now connected to the rest of Charlotte by the Blue Line light rail extension that runs right through the heart of the area.

Adding to the momentum, the new University City Partners is investing in building out the area’s public spaces, community events and culture.

All told, it’s breathed new life into an area that remains one of Charlotte’s hidden gems.


Population: 22,972

Commute distance to Uptown: 30 minutes

Median age: 25

Median household income: $37,702

Median home sales price: $132,265

Average rent: $955

Things to do in University City

The Boardwalk. The pond ringed by the Shoppes at University Place offers a unique Charlotte experience. Don’t miss Boardwalk Billy’s and Famous Toastery — and once a year, the University City Wine Fest. Details.

UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. Take a stroll through these beautiful grounds to plan your garden or catch some rare species. Details.

PNC Music Pavilion. The nation’s top acts regularly pass through Charlotte’s biggest live music venue. Details.

Reedy Creek Park and Nature Preserve. Over 850 acres, you can do everything from hike to fish to play disc golf. Details.

University City real estate

While the area around UNC Charlotte is dominated by student rental housing, there are plenty of affordable single-family neighborhoods in the University City area.

The most prominent is Highland Creek, the largest subdivision in Charlotte and among the biggest in the state.

Homebuyers are continually attracted to the University City area by its lower cost of living and convenience to downtown Charlotte, Concord, Harrisburg and the Lake Norman area.