CHARLOTTE, N.C. — South End's transformation continues as iconic staples like Zack's Hamburgers permanently close.
New apartments, restaurants, and nightlife have sprung up in the area after the construction of the light rail. Now, city leaders say the area shows no signs of slowing down.
"We've seen this area go through a lot of change recently," chair of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission Keba Samuel said. "The rapid growth that we're seeing is definitely new, it's kind of shocking and jarring to see but exciting at the same time."
Lower South End is becoming the new hot spot for development. "It is definitely viewed now as a land of opportunity," Samuel said.
Samuel says there are two main reasons why: the light rail and more people moving into the area.
"The light rail has definitely sparked some economic development along South Boulevard. Were watching it kind of crawl further down, it started near Uptown and is creeping towards Pineville," Samuel said.
Among the new trendy shops and restaurants in the area, some places have stayed the same, but lately, those places like Zack's Hamburgers have closed for good. Now, there are plans to build apartments on Zack's site. Embrey Partners a San Antonio developer currently have a rezoning request for a few of the parcels.
"You just want to keep some of the old so you can remember what Charlotte was and how it came to be what it is now," the owner of Hairs Your Glory Salon Keva Gallardo said.
Small businesses on South Boulevard like Hairs Your Glory Salon, hope the new development won't price them out.
"I embrace the growth but I want to be included in with the growth," owner of Hairs Your Glory Salon Lisa Harris said.