Living in Uptown Charlotte

    Twenty years ago, the knock on Uptown Charlotte was that after 5 p.m., you could roll a quarter down the middle of it and not hit anybody.

    Boy, have things changed. Especially since the Great Recession, Charlotte’s center city has been in a period of renaissance — and it’s no longer just a place to work. A series of high-rise apartment buildings have brought scores of young professionals to Uptown, new restaurants and bars have added to the nightlife, and the beautiful Romare Bearden Park has added a centerpiece at all hours of the day. There’s even a Whole Foods for your grocery shopping.

    Oh, and yes — it is called Uptown. Charlotte’s City Council adopted the moniker for the city’s downtown area in the mid-1970s, and it’s stuck. It’s also fitting: The downtown area of Charlotte is also at the crest of a hill.

    Uptown is the beating heart of the city of Charlotte. Living here means you’re just a quick walk to work, to eat, or to catch the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Hornets. You’re also connected to the rest of the city by the Blue Line light rail train, which will have you to UNC Charlotte or down to South End in minutes.

    Vitals

    Population: 30,000

    Commute distance to Uptown: 0 minutes

    Median age: 30

    Median household income: $81,136

    Median home sales price: $315,970

    Average rent: $1,800

    Things to do in Uptown Charlotte

    7th Street Public Market: It’s like a farmer’s market, but inside and thriving. This hotspot is right on the light rail line and home to vendors selling everything from sushi to crepes to gourmet cheeses to juice cleanses. There’s free high speed internet, too — so you can work while you play if need be. Details.

    City Lights: This sprawling rooftop bar atop Le Méridien hotel offers a sweeping view of the skyline. Their signature drink is called the Sparkle & Pop — a glass of prosecco or sparkling rosé with a gourmet popsicle from local institution King of Pops right in the middle. Details.

    The Asbury: This modern Southern restaurant is one of the top places for brunch, lunch and dinner in all of Charlotte. Don’t miss the cast-iron biscuits with bacon jam. Details.

    Alexander Michael’s: You might walk right by thinking it’s just another family home. But inside is a cozy neighborhood tavern aching to serve you up some comfort food. You’ll be calling it “Al Mike’s” in no time. Details.

    The Cellar at Duckworth’s: This speakeasy-style cocktail bar is the best spot to wind down after a night out — if you can get in. Yes, there is actually a cellar: Choose from their selection of rare, aged beer for a special occasion. Details.

    The nighttime view from Romare Bearden Park.

    Uptown real estate

    Uptown is divided into four “wards,” and each has its own distinct flavor.

    First Ward in the northeast quadrant of the neighborhood has a wealth of townhomes and condos, with a few streets of craftsman single-family homes as well.

    Second Ward is the government district, home to City Hall and a branch of the Federal Reserve — but not much in the way of real estate.

    Third Ward is mostly condos in towering skyscrapers, but you can also find townhomes in the outskirts.

    Fourth Ward is the classic residential district of Uptown, with street after street lined with beautiful Victorian homes.