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Charlotte’s center city honors one of its builders

Pat Rodgers, who has guided dozens of construction projects in Charlotte’s uptown, was honored Thursday for her work in building the center city.

As CEO of Rodgers Builders Inc., Rodgers has had a hand in more than 30 uptown projects, ranging from the Knight Theater to the new BB&T Ballpark.

Charlotte Center City Partners presented her Thursday with its Vision Award, which goes each year to someone who has contributed to the development and vibrancy of uptown Charlotte. Several hundred business leaders gathered at the Charlotte Convention Center for the ceremony.

Rodgers said in an interview before the ceremony that she considers the honor a joint award with her husband, Bonar Day “B.D.” Rodgers Jr., who founded the construction firm in 1963. He died in February at age 89.

“We were a great team,” Rodgers said. And in his lifetime, Charlotte went through tremendous change.

“I’ve always felt Charlotte was a late bloomer,” Rodgers said. “Charlotte was a town. In his lifetime, he watched it become a city.”

Rodgers joins a long list of prominent Charlotte business figures to receive the award. Last year, it went to former First Union CEO Ed Crutchfield.

Other recent honorees include former Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, Andreas Bechtler of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl.

Rodgers’ work has intersected with several of those former recipients. Her company built the McColl Center for Visual Art and the Bechtler Museum, for example. Rodgers said Thursday the Bechtler stands out.

“I just can’t think of any other building in Charlotte that became so iconic so quickly,” she said.

Center City Partners presented a number of other awards Thursday:

• Bobcats Sports & Entertainment Inc., which operates Charlotte’s NBA team and books Time Warner Cable Arena’s events, was cited for “cultivating uptown Charlotte’s development and vibrant nightlife.”

• A dozen people spanning local government and the real estate and construction industries were lauded for bringing Romare Bearden Park into being.

• Mert’s Heart and Soul restaurant was given a Settlers Award honoring its 15 years in business.

• Design firm Shook Kelley also received a Settlers Award for its work building the South End area.

Dunn: 704-358-5235; Twitter: @andrew_dunn
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