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Downtown Charlotte
Neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina
Aerial of Downtown in May 2009
Aerial of Downtown in May 2009
Country  United States
State  North Carolina
County Mecklenburg County, North Carolina seal.png Mecklenburg
City Charlotte
Council Districts 1, 2
Neighborhood Profile Areas 340, 341, 342, 384
 • Total 2.14 sq mi (5.5 km2)
Population (2016)
 • Total 16,500
 • Density 7,710/sq mi (2,977/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Zip Code 28202, 28204, 28206, 28208
Area code(s) 704, 980
Quality of Life Dashboard

Charlotte Center City (sometimes called Uptown) is the central area of Charlotte, North Carolina within the bounds of I-277. The area is split into four neighborhoods (Wards) by the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets.

Several Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters here, including Bank of America, Duke Energy, and the East Coast operations of Wells Fargo. Athletic and event facilities located in Center City include Bank of America Stadium – home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers, Spectrum Center – home of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, BB&T Ballpark – home of the International League's Charlotte Knights, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Museums, theaters, hotels, high-density residential developments, restaurants, and bars are heavily concentrated in the Center City, with over 214 restaurants and 50 nightspots.

Charlotte's Center City (including South End) employs 113,800 people, hosts more than 18 million visitors a year, and 25,970 people call the area home.

Downtown Charlotte

Charlotte Center City is referred to as "Uptown" by some locals, although the term "Downtown" is understood and used by native Charlotteans since it references the same area of the city.

There is much confusion brought about by the use of the terms "Uptown" and "Downtown" for Charlotte's center city area, yet prior to the mid-late 1980s, the term "Downtown" was used by residents, media and city leaders for the Center City. During the 1980s, a massive campaign was launched to revamp the image of the downtown area and the term "Uptown" was introduced to the general public. On February 14, 1987, the Charlotte Observer began using the term "Uptown" as a way to promote a more positive upbeat image of the Center City area. School teachers were provided with "historical" documents justifying use of the term to teach to students. (Proclamation designating central shopping and business district as Uptown Charlotte by City of Charlotte Mayor John M. Belk on September 23, 1974)

Major streets

See also: List of Charlotte neighborhoods and List of tallest buildings in Charlotte

Tryon Street

Bank of America Corporate Center
Located at 100 North Tryon Street in Charlotte, the Bank of America Corporate Center stands 871 ft tall and is the 118th tallest building in the world.

Tryon Street is a major north-south street of Charlotte, North Carolina. It traverses through the center of Downtown Charlotte and is the address for some of the city's tallest buildings like the Bank of America Corporate Center and Hearst Tower. U.S. Route 29 and North Carolina Highway 49 are signed along portions of Tryon Street (although they both deviate onto Graham Street through Uptown). The road is divided at its intersection with Trade Street into two segments: North Tryon Street and South Tryon Street. Likewise, Tryon Street divides Trade Street into East and West. The Trade and Tryon intersection serves as the dividing point for the city's first four wards. The street was named after William Tryon, governor of the Province of North Carolina from 1765 to 1771.

Entering the Charlotte city limits from the north, US 29's street name changes from Concord Parkway to North Tryon Street. US 29 and Tryon Street continue southwest through the University City neighborhood, passing by the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Charlotte, intersecting with Interstate 485 (North Carolina), and passing through the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

South Tryon Street terminates at the Charlotte city limits at the Steele Creek neighborhood, where it changes to York Road. NC 49 continues west to Lake Wylie, South Carolina, where it becomes Charlotte Highway.

The following towers have the Tryon Street address:

  • Bank of America Corporate Center
  • Duke Energy Center
  • Hearst Tower (Charlotte)
  • Fifth Third Center
  • 400 South Tryon
  • 525 North Tryon
  • 200 South Tryon
  • 112 Tryon Plaza
  • South Tryon Square

Trade Street

Trade Street is the major east-west street that divides the northern and southern wards in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. It is also notable for having major towers as Tryon Street. The following towers have a Trade Street address:

  • 121 West Trade
  • 129 West Trade


Center City Charlotte is divided into four neighborhoods, or "Wards", by the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets.

First Ward

The EpiCentre is a popular shopping and nightlife destination in downtown

First Ward lies directly to the east of the intersection of Trade and Tryon. It is that quadrant bounded by North Tryon on the northwest and East Trade on the southwest.

First Ward was recently one of the most dangerous areas in Charlotte, but because of recent revitalization under a HUD HOPE VI grant, it has become one of the more desirable. Many new developments are planned and under construction. The award winning Center City Building which houses the downtown campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is in the first ward. The Center City Building is part of an urban village project being developed by Levine Properties. The current plans for the urban village include a 4-acre (16,000 m2) park, which was completed in December 2015, 450,000 sq ft (42,000 m2) of office space, 2,700 residential units, 250 hotel rooms, 250,000 sq ft (23,000 m2) of retail space, and 450,000 sq ft (42,000 m2) of civic space. Current attractions include: The Main Library, the Spirit Square portion of the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, ImaginOn Children's Learning Center, Levine Museum of the New South, the Spectrum Center, and is the home of the Charlotte Hornets. On Tryon at Sixth Street, one of Charlotte's historic gems is being preserved and connected to a new condo project called Encore.

Skyline of Charlotte, North Carolina (2008)
View from the Central Ave. bridge of Charlotte Center City in 2008.

Second Ward

Second Ward lies directly to the south of the intersection of Trade and Tryon. It is the quadrant bounded by South Tryon on the northwest and East Trade on the northeast.

Second Ward is the location of Charlotte's "Government District" and is the site of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Second Ward used to be the location of the predominantly black neighborhood Brooklyn before an urban renewal project took place. Today, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art+Culture stands in Second Ward. Here we also find EpiCentre, a mixed-use entertainment and retail complex, the Charlotte Convention Center, The Victorian Gothic style St. Peter's Catholic Church, and The Green, a downtown mini-park.

Donald Trump proposed a 72-story project called Trump Charlotte in the Second Ward which would have been the tallest building in Charlotte. The project was subsequently cancelled.

Third Ward

BB&T Ballpark Skyline
The Center City skyline viewed from BB&T Ballpark

Third Ward lies directly to the west of the intersection of Trade and Tryon. It is the quadrant bounded by South Tryon on the southeast and West Trade on the northeast. Third Ward is the location of the Knight Theatre, the Mint Museum, and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.

Center City's Third Ward is a diverse, quaint, start of the 20th century streetcar neighborhood home to the Carolina Panthers' Bank of America Stadium and Gateway Village which is one of the state's largest mixed-use developments. Gateway Village is 1,500,000 sq ft (140,000 m2) in size, and home to offices, shops, restaurants, entertainment venues and over 500 housing units. The most exciting new project is Wachovia's First Street Project, comprising cultural, office, residential, and open space. Johnson & Wales University is expanding its campus in the Center City while the Mecklenburg County's Parks and Recreation Department has unveiled plans for an urban park in the district. Multiple condominium high rise towers have begun or are ready to begin construction. Plans are also underway to construct a $200 million transportation hub along the Norfolk Southern Railway called the Gateway Station. The Gateway Station will house the Greyhound bus stop, the Amtrak station, the LYNX Purple Line and LYNX Silver Line, and a CATS bus hub.

BB&T Ballpark opened in 2014 as the home of the Charlotte Knights. Directly across the street is the new Romare Bearden Park, which opened in September 2013.

Fourth Ward

Fourth Ward lies directly to the north of the intersection of Trade and Tryon. It is that quadrant bounded by North Tryon on the southeast and West Trade on the southwest.

Fourth Ward is mostly residential and has many beautiful Victorian homes. It is an official historic district and is the location of Old Settlers' Cemetery as well as the three acre Fourth Ward Park.


In August 2013, the city opened Romare Bearden Park which is a 5.4 acre public park located at 300 S. Church Street.

Sites of interest

  • Bank of America Stadium
  • Spectrum Center
  • BB&T Ballpark
  • NASCAR Hall of Fame
  • EpiCentre Charlotte
  • Discovery Place
  • Avenue
  • ImaginOn
  • TradeMark
  • The Vue
  • Main Library
  • Levine Museum of the New South
  • Little Sugar Creek Greenway
  • North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
  • Mint Museum
  • Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
  • Harvey B. Gantt Center for African Americans Arts and Culture

Official websites

  • (Charlotte Center City)

Additional information

Coordinates: 35°13′38″N 80°50′35″W / 35.2272°N 80.8431°W / 35.2272; -80.8431

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