What slowdown? 2008 is bustling

A slowing economy hasn't stopped the flow of Next Big Things in the Charlotte area, where surprising and intriguing projects are still surfacing.

Who would have believed that a new Charlotte company would spring from a Kentucky distillery purchased for its salvage value?

Or that one of the nation's largest apartment developers would help jump start a Charlotte inner city redevelopment by purchasing a 5-acre site.

On top of that, a block-long commercial-residential redevelopment would help preserve a landmark in one of the city's hip neighborhoods, a “green” parking deck could include a green market and a continuing-care retirement community would be larger than one Mecklenburg town's biggest subdivision.

Here's an update on those five potential Next Big Things, all unveiled during the first five months of 2008.