When University City took off in the early 1980s, one of the first groups to invest in our future was Charlotte’s medical community, drawn by the opportunity to serve future residents and businesses in the emerging University Research Park.
Skeptics wondered about the wisdom of launching Charlotte's first suburban hospital in a sparsely populated region with seemingly more cows than people.
No one questions that decision now.
Nearly 200,000 people live within 5 miles of Atrium Health University City's campus at North Tryon Street and W.T. Harris Boulevard - the state’s busiest intersection.
Eighty thousand people work in Ucity, Charlotte’s second largest employment center.
UNC Charlotte totals more than 32,000 students, faculty and staff, with plans to become the state’s biggest university.
Our medical community has kept pace.
The hospital alone employs 2,200 healthcare professionals. Its ER and delivery centers are among Atrium's busiest. Its clinics treating cancer, diabetes, severe burns and difficult wounds serve patients from across the region.
More than 250 medical facilities - many of them in nearby office and medical parks - provide a broad range of general and advanced services, as well.
Healthcare will continue to be a powerful economic driver in University City, especially with help from growing UNC Charlotte programs in bioinformatics and healthcare IT.
The strength of our healthcare industry mirrors Ucity’s vibrant business climate in general. Both have benefited greatly from our location and easy access to the rest of Charlotte, the region and beyond.
The same transportation grid that speeds patients to our medical offices also benefits workers and employers with the shortest commute time in the Charlotte region. Uptown, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and much of the Charlotte metro area are within 28 minutes of University City businesses via interstate highways and light rail.
In March, University City launched a game changer with the opening of the LYNX Blue Line Extension between uptown and UNC Charlotte.
University City now pulses with 107 trains traveling every day and night through the heart of our community, connecting our workers, students and residents to Center City and South Charlotte.
Light rail is driving new investment both along the transit corridor and throughout University City. Riders on light rail can easily connect to Innovation Park and the University Research Park via connector buses running every 15 to 30 minutes.
Access to light rail is a major reason why Duke Energy expanded in University City with two new facilities, why Wells Fargo has moved about 3,000 more employees here and why AXA made a big corporate move to Ucity.
Light rail is also fueling new development along the North Tryon Street transit corridor.
Atrium Health University City is among a handful of hospitals nationwide located on a light-rail line, and hospital leaders expect to see a surge in patients riding the LYNX. The 40-acre campus has space for major expansion. Already, two stories are being added to the 5000 building in the adjacent medical park.
ATAPCO’s University Executive Park, with 50 acres next to the McCullough Station, and 196,000 sq. ft building is undergoing major renovation (former Allstate campus), nearby, are poised for dense redevelopment. Novant Health has leased space in the University Executive Park for a cancer treatment center. ATAPCO recently broke ground on a five-story apartment building near the LYNX station.
One stop closer to uptown, at the University City Boulevard Station, nearly 120 acres of undeveloped land are available: At a transit station; with direct access to I-85; in a submarket that has demonstrated for four decades that it’s a great place for business and commerce.
Light rail is a game changer, and we can’t wait for what the future brings.