The last hurdles are in sight and The River District is expected to break ground before the end of the year. This long anticipated project will be a boon to the area, and is expected to be a great draw to the waterfront helping Charlotte continue to be a world class city.

Having an active waterfront feature is something that Uptown Charlotte lacks as the city was built too far from the Catawba River. This means that we have not been able to have the events and recreation that other cities of our size can host. These can range from fireworks, to regattas, to charity floats, and much more. Sure we can have them now, but they aren’t an integrated part of the Uptown area so they are not as big of a draw as you see in cities with a river or lake in the downtown area. The River District aims to change all of that.

The project is a grand one, it will be about the size of Ballantyne once it is all completed. The master-planned space covers 1,400 acres off of West Boulevard on the west side of Charlotte Douglas International Airport directly on the Catawba River. The entrance is just off the interchange of West Boulevard and I-485. 

The River District has been in the works for around 5 or 6 years now, and has been a massive undertaking. Part of the plan calls for extending West Boulevard to Dixie River Road so developers can build a town center for the community. The entrance to the community will front West Boulevard on a recently acquired 7.8 acre parcel at Garrison Road. The entrance will set the stage for the rest of the district. 

Developer Crescent Communities has announced that they will break ground on this enormous project before the end of the year. The first phase will include the extension of West Boulevard and will build out a 70-acre mixed-use community called Westrow. This phase of the development will include housing, shops, restaurants, office space, and green space. Completion for the first phase is expected early in 2023. The only thing holding them back is the issuance of the last land development permits. These are expected in the next few weeks.

Plans for the full The River District project include up to 2,300 single-family homes, 2,550 apartments, 500,000 square feet of retail, 1,000 hotel rooms, and 8 million square feet of office space. At least 10% of the housing has committed to being affordable.

It will take around 10 years to fully complete The River District. Developers expect the community to draw additional investment in the surrounding areas making The River District a destination worthy of large events on the river that will create an active waterfront. This will be a great return on the public investment in the infrastructure needed for the community. It will be hard to wait for completion of the project, but it will be worth it for Charlotte to have a premier waterfront community destination.