Light Rail Is Moving Charlotte
and Millennials Ahead

Marc DeLuca

The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) recently opened an extension to its highly successful 9.3 mile Lynx Blue Line light rail, Railway Age reports.

The extension runs northeast from 7th Street station in the city center through to the University of North Carolina Charlotte campus. That includes 11 stations, with four of them offering park-and-ride facilities and providing 3100 parking spaces.

In markets like Charlotte, light rail is changing the way people live, and attracting those who would rather ride public transportation than own a car (especially young people). For investors, property near light rail becomes super valuable, encouraging development.

Charlotte is also the third-largest banking center in the United States (it used to be second, but it fell behind San Francisco in 2017). The city boasts $2.26 trillion in assets, employs tens of thousands in its financial services industry and continues to attract companies.

The city — the most populous in North Carolina — is home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and the east coast operations of Wells Fargo.

“In the grand scheme of things, Charlotte is still a bank center. Charlotte is still a magnet for bankers,” Tony Plath, finance professor at UNC Charlotte, told The Charlotte Observer. The impact of losing the No. 2 ranking, he said, is “all psychological.”

Business Insider recently released a report finding that Charlotte is the top city that Millennials are “flocking to in droves.” The millennial population of Charlotte grew by nearly 11,000 in 2015, the latest year for which there is data.

Apartment-rental site Apartment List analyzed U.S. Census data from 2005-15 for the nation’s largest 50 metro areas to determine where young Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 are choosing to call home, and Charlotte topped the list. The city’s Millennial population grew by just over 30%, with Houston and Austin trailing behind.

Another feature making Charlotte grow: its perfect location for importing and exporting products. It has a close proximity to the ports of North Carolina (Wilmington and Morehead City) as well as the ports in Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; Norfolk, Virginia; and Baltimore, Maryland.


Light Rail Is Moving Charlotte<BR>and Millennials Ahead Marc Deluca website B 300x181
Marc DeLuca is Regional President overseeing the Eastern U.S. As regional president for KBS, Mr. DeLuca is responsible for all acquisitions, dispositions and asset management activities in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Ohio. Mr. DeLuca is also chairman of the KBS Investment Committee that meets regularly to review and approve all new investments for the firm.