CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - When you think of a public meeting, craft beer and trivia games don't likely come to mind. But the City of Charlotte had to get creative with their South End Vision Tour and it paid off.
Tuesday night, hundreds crowded into Triple C Brewery to get a taste of what the city hopes to see South End transform into.
"We had to do it in a creative way. Because the average person won't come out to public meetings anymore" Grant Meacci, Director of Urban Design for the City of Charlotte, told WBTV.
Meacci says it's all about developing South End's unused space.
"Think about every city you've been in that has just block on block of great retail, shops, local businesses," he said.
Steven Price, the owner of Price's Chicken Coop, says that's exactly what the area used to look like.
"It was a vibrant, walkable, retail area in the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s," Price said.
The plan's priorities include Rail Trail development, pedestrian accessibility, better parking management, and an urban park development, to name a few things.
"You can walk around a lot of different blocks in South End right now and just have dead space," Meacci said.
The City also wants to keep South End affordable, but with property values already soaring, Price doesn't buy it.
"I think to get the small business owners, the entrepreneurial business owners, I think the rent is going to be too high," he said.
Price may be skeptical, but many others are hoping to soon see South End become a unique jewel in the Queen City's crown
"The north end shouldn't look like the South End," Meacci said.
As for a time line, Meacci hopes to see the plan come to fruition in the next five years.