By Anna Robaton | Contributor, Shopping Centers Today
When Charlotte, N.C., failed to get the coveted nod as site of Amazon.com’s second headquarters last year, its municipal and business leaders were far from devastated.
As the state’s most populous city, Charlotte consistently ranks among the fastest-growing large cities in the U.S. — thanks in part to an influx of Millennials drawn to the market’s educational and job opportunities, quality of life and relatively low cost of living. And with an estimated 2.4 million people in its metro area currently, Charlotte may actually take the top slot over the next decade or so, according to United Nations projections. Its rapidly increasing talent pool has helped make it a business magnet, and this may explain, in part, why locals tended to take Amazon’s decision to go elsewhere in stride.
“Most of us were not concerned,” said R. Christopher Thomas, a retail partner at Childress Klein, a commercial real estate firm based in both Charlotte and Atlanta. “We’re confident that we’ve shown our mettle. Because of Charlotte’s prominence as a regional banking center, the importance of its airport and its strategic location in the middle of the Carolinas, Charlotte has continued to benefit from corporate relocations.”