Camden has always been one of my favorite streets in Charlotte just based off of its sheer potential.
Now that potential is becoming a reality and it could not be more exciting.
First some logistics.
Camden Road is a branch off of Tryon Street that runs from Tryon down to Tremont Avenue.
It is mainly serviced by the East/West light rail station, but the Bland Station is also easily accessible.
One side of the tracks houses the ever growing Rail Trail and the other is Camden Road itself.
The street is booming with activity both on and around it.
Below is a detailed map of most (not all, I know) of the projects in the corridor.
Let’s first start with a few key projects off Camden that will certainly enhance the area.
First, the ongoing redevelopment and improvements at Atherton Mill.
Edens has already brought in top retailers like Anthropologie, Warby Parker and Free People.
The next phase, however, will take shopping to a whole new level as they plan to add an additional 60,000 square feet of retail with their development project.
Think of Atherton Mill as an “anchor” of sorts as Camden will feed directly (heading south) into this shopping center. Atherton Mill will tie the entire area together with immense shopping, eating and drinking establishments.
Once fleshed out, the rail trail will continue through the property, down to Publix and beyond. Look for the entire thing to be done in 2019.
Also not on Camden but certainly important for the area is the RailYard project and the South End hotel.
Beacon Partners announced their fantastic RailYard project which consists of a beautifully designed building, a retail plaza (with 30,000 square feet of retail) and a bunch of office space.
This project is so important because it not only provides a ton more retail space, but it is a well designed building that adds a huge chunk of new office space.
As for the South End Hotel, it will be a common hotel flag, but the brand is attempting a new urban concept with this being one of the first.
South End needs hotel rooms desperately and this will provide that.
Now let’s get on to Camden itself.
At this point established locales like Price’s and Phat Burrito hold their own, but it’s what is coming that will cement the area as the key piece of South End.
With 1616 Center and Camden Gallery having fully leased out their retail, and nearly filled out all the office and apartments in their buildings, respectfully, they have added a much needed foundation for Camden. From Fidelli to Blaze Pizza, Leroy Fox to Pop the Top and Ultra Running to Blue Hem, the retail is mixed and provides plenty to do along the strip.
The next key project will be the revamp and redevelopment of the Design Center. There will be over 100,000 square feet of retail that will contain not only bars and restaurants, but soft good retailers as well. This project will enhance Camden, the area and really solidify it as the shopping district in the Uptown area (that is until Lincoln Harris makes the right move and builds an urban mall on their Observer land).
The last major piece is the much maligned DFA HQ. You know, the one that took down the Common Market and its associated buildings. While this is no doubt a major loss of some cool buildings, the new project has its pluses.
The design isn’t a complete travesty, it adds a ton of great sidewalk-fronting retail, anchors the north side of Camden and perhaps most importantly — adds a lot of jobs and represents a large investment in Charlotte. So while the design isn’t great and it destroyed some buildings, it’s being built whether we want it to or not. To me the key at this point is the jobs and retail it’s bringing.
The map above will give you a better idea of just HOW MUCH is going on, so please take a look through, read the descriptions as well as my anecdotes and see just how important, exciting and fun the Camden Corridor is going to be.