Work Life

How does Charlotte grow? 3 developers talk about the future of the city

You see the new apartment complexes popping up on your drive to work. You see the cranes dotting the uptown skyline from your office window. Everywhere you look, Charlotte is growing and changing and developing.

Development is one of the hottest topics in Charlotte, and this building boom will shape Charlotte for years to come. At this month’s 35Below event, we hosted three major developers at our April 19 breakfast event at Ink & Ivy: David Ravin with Northwood Ravin, Tracy Dodson with Lincoln Harris and Brian Leary with Crescent Communities. The conversation was moderated by Observer development reporter Ely Portillo.

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You can listen to the discussion on a special episode of the CharlotteFive Podcast below.

The conversation touched on some of their major projects but then quickly turned to the audience at hand, with one developer opening the conversation floodgates with this statement: We sit in countless conference rooms and ask what do Millennials want? They are driving the world. You guys are just not going to put up with the same boring stuff.

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So what does not boring look like? Apartments that are more than places to sleep at night. An emphasis on experience: Are there interesting places to eat and drink nearby? Is there wifi everywhere? Are the living spaces beautiful?

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What do Millennials want when it comes to development? Here’s what the audience had to say:

– Car wash facility at the apartment complex.

– Real coffee shop on bottom floor.

– Child care in the building where they work.

– Workout facilities at workplaces – especially those not in uptown.

Hear more of the conversation in on this special episode of the CharlotteFive Podcast.

What’s 35Below?

It’s a CharlotteFive event series that brings together Charlotte’s most talented young professionals and some of the biggest names in Charlotte and the state. It’s part panel discussion and part Q&A, but the speakers also bring questions they want to ask the audience.

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In essence, this is a great way for companies to give their rising stars a young professionals development opportunity. It meets eight times a year for networking, breakfast and then conversation with a local changemaker. We’re still accepting corporate members. If you’d like our slick brochure or have questions, contact Events Director Jen Rothacker,

Coming in May:

Our next 35 Below is May 17 at Fahrenheit with Gov. Roy Cooper. Let’s see if our young professionals can stump North Carolina’s top executive!

The CharlotteFive Podcast is a weekly podcast presented by The Charlotte Observer and powered by OrthoCarolina that aims to get you Charlotte Smart, Fast with fun, interesting and useful news about the city. It’s hosted by Corey Inscoe and Sarah Crosland, and produced by Richard Brooke and 2Waves Media.

You can find The CharlotteFive Podcast on SoundcloudiTunesGoogle PlayStitcher and TuneIn. You can follow us on Twitter @Charlotte_Five, on Instagram @cltfive, and on Facebook, and you can shoot us an email to

Photo: BlueSky by Cass Bradley