CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There was a giant step forward today in an effort to revitalize Charlotte's Northwest corridor.
The ribbon was cut to open Mosaic Village. Johnson C Smith University students will live there in suite-style apartments. On the first floor is 7,500 square feet of retail space.
This is in an area that's more than ready for change.
"This is something we've been waiting for. We've been waiting for years for this," said Senator Malcolm Graham.
The Village sits just off the Johnson C Smith University campus on West Trade Street. 300 students will live there and on the first floor there will be a barber shop, convenience store and an express restaurant, all of which will be open to the public.
"If we can revitalize the corridor we can revitalize the neighborhoods around it," Graham added.
Mayor Anthony Foxx called it a down payment of the future of the west end historic corridor and by many it is considered only a beginning.
"The future includes a street car and retail. We'll get rid of eyesores. Today, this gives us a clear path to our future," said Charlotte City Councilman James Mitchell, Jr.
Those celebrating today are hoping for more public and private investment to continue growth in the corridor.
"We have a collective psyche and a vital spirit. We are determined to demonstrate the NW corridor will have a voice," said Dr. Ronald Carter, President of Johnson C. Smith University.
The $25 million project is a public/private partnership with JCSU and the Griffin Family which operates Griffin Brothers Tire stores.
The West Trade Street/Beatties Ford Task Force is also behind several art projects in that same area, a bike share program, and several cleanup and restoration campaigns.