South End businesses seeing the impacts of Lowe’s new Tech Hub Tower

“We’re seeing a huge increase in the amount of people walking by the business in general,” one area manager said.
The newly constructed Lowe's Tech Hub in South End is bringing more people to the area.
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 11:02 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - South End is getting busier during the weekdays, now with more people working in the area.

One reason for the latest spike in people is the construction Lowe’s Tech Hub Tower.

“It’s very exciting, exciting news,” Jin Mengert, the owner of Bulgogi Box Korean Style BBQ in South End, said. “You see kind of new faces, you know, more office people.”

As Lowe’s employees fill into the newest South End tower, businesses are seeing the impact.

“We’re seeing a huge increase in the amount of people walking by the business in general,” Mackenzie Spence, the Salon Manager of Kenna Kunijo, said.

Lowe’s said it welcomed 1,000 employees to the Tech Hub at the start of August.

The tower will eventually employ upwards of 2,000 people, filling 23 floors of office space.

“This whole area is starting to get energized, it started with Lowe’s,” Mengert said.

“The more people that walk by, the more exposure you get as a business, the more you’re able to get your name out there,” Spence added.

With more growth and people in the area, it presents some problems too.

Business owners and managers said they are seeing more congestion, more foot traffic, and parking problems in the area.

“Traffic has been rough but I mean that’s to be expected, parking is a bit of a situation,” Spence said.

Parking was a major issue before the tower broke ground in 2019.

The Tech Hub does have garage parking with 900 spaces, something one business says is helpful.

“It’s a nice alternative, but I think people are still adjusting to the fact that we are a city and they do have to pay for parking,” Spence said.

It’s an issue small businesses are working to resolve with the city.

They are just hopeful Lowe’s will be a part of that solution too, for their employees and area businesses.

“When the building officially opens, there’s going to be a lot more people and I’m a little anxious to see what that does to the traffic, but I think it’s really exciting to see all of the new people and there’s a lot of new people walking around,” Spence said.

While small businesses are starting see a thousand employees filter throughout the area daily, the new tower is not fully open yet. Lowes’s said the grand opening is set for October.

Steve Salazar, a Lowe’s spokesperson released a statement in part:

We have been impressed with the level of talent we’ve brought on board thus far and the fantastic work environment in South End for our associates to collaborate and ideate. We continue to actively hire for a variety of roles. Technology is mission-critical at Lowe’s, and the Tech Hub will serve as a best-in-class technology center for tech associates who are helping us shape the future of retail.

Related: CMPD teams up with Lowe’s to launch diversion program for young adults