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04/07/2011

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What Makes Our City Great: Charlotte Edition (Part 2 of 3)

Welcome to Charlotte North Carolina “A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one.” - Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

Those words are no less true today than they were when they were spoken more than two millenniums ago. This week, we are continuing our blog series on our three primary markets by taking a closer look at the things that make Charlotte a great place to live, work, and play. This is the second installment in the series. We previously discussed Orlando, and in the coming weeks, we will conclude with South Florida. We hope you will enjoy this light-hearted discussion, and we welcome your commentary at the conclusion of the article.

This city means BIG business

When people talk about major U.S. centers of commerce, it is almost inevitable that great cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, and Philadelphia are brought up. In light of that notion, it would surely come as a surprise to most to learn that the charming southern locale of Charlotte, North Carolina is home to more Fortune 500 companies (with 6) than the latter 3 cities on that list. Indeed, this coastal city on the rise, with a population of 730,000+ and growing, can hold its own when it comes to doing business.

Charlotte’s burgeoning economy owes much of its current growth to the financial renaissance that it experienced in the 1980’s and 90’s. Developing a sound financial lending base through native Charlotte companies like Bank of America (our nation’s largest financial institution in terms of asset holdings) and Wachovia (now a major division of Wells Fargo), it was only natural for other business to develop and grow in and around the city. Today, the greater Charlotte area plays host to a number of top companies across industries that include power generation and distribution, automotive care, entertainment production and broadcasting, consumer retail, and of course, finance.

Recent years have seen Charlotte rise to become a major player in our nation’s energy sector. Anchored by Charlotte-based power giant Duke Energy, the area is home to dozens of industry companies and divisions. Siemens, Toshiba, Westinghouse, Shaw Group, and Fluor Power, amongst many others, all have a major presence. The industry concentration is in direct correlation with the local education focus, as some the brightest young minds are developed at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte’s Energy Production & Infrastructure Center (EPIC). Undoubtedly, Charlotte will play a major role as our nation moves forward to develop more sustainable means of energy production and distribution, and that bodes well for the future of the local economy.

Recreation and culture abounds

Sports play a major role in the recreational scene in Charlotte. The city is home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, along with one of its primary branch offices. The Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts several major racing events each year, including the Coca-Cola 600 and the Bank of America 500, amongst others. Charlotte also has two major sporting franchises in the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats and the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

Charlotte’s residents don’t leave all the fun to the professionals, however. With a temperate climate for most of the year, the area lends itself to outdoor activities. Located less than 4 hours from the Atlantic coastline, 2 hours from the Appalachian Mountain range, and a short drive from the Catawba River, the city offers something for everyone who enjoys getting outside. Hiking, climbing, snow skiing, and kayaking are some of the more popular pastimes.

For those looking for something a little more cultural or educational, there is no shortage of options in Charlotte. Discovery Place is a popular science and technology museum located in Uptown, the city’s vibrant and growing center. Other destinations include the Charlotte Nature Museum, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Carolinas Aviation Museum, and the Mint Museum of Art. There is also the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and Opera Carolina.

What do YOU like about Charlotte?

We could go on and on about what makes Charlotte a great place to live and work. After all, we at Kavaliro made the conscientious decision to headquarter our business here, so it goes without saying that we see great things in the area. But we want to hear what YOU have to say. What aspects do you find most attractive in The Queen City? Please join the conversation by using the comment tools below.

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