One of the selling points for any retail site is the about of car traffic that passes by the location. According to the NCDOT, 77,000 cars a day currently travel through the section of US Highway 74 or Independence Boulevard between Idlewild Road and Eastway Drive in east Charlotte. NCDOT estimates that vehicle counts in this area could be as high as 91,000 vehicles per day by 2030. To accommodate the increase in vehicle traffic, Independence Boulevard has been a construction zone on and off for the past two decades. All of the changes have discouraged reinvestment in the transportation corridor and have left blighted buildings the wake. However, there may be a renaissance forming. Walmart selected Independence Blvd for the site of a new store when it relocated several years ago. New retail along Indy are signs that it’s coming back.
We wrote about American Beauty Garden Center’s move from east Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood neighborhood to Independence Blvd a few months ago. The Charlotte Observer recently featured them in a new article. From the story:
Being smack-dab in the middle of the East Independence Boulevard construction zone hasn’t been easy for many small businesses, and some of them have moved away or closed amid years of ongoing road work.
Then there’s American Beauty Garden Center, an established local organic gardening supplies store, which moved right into the orange-barrel belt this summer.
And the owners couldn’t be happier about it.
“Fantastic,” is how co-owner Pete Freedman describes the airy 7,000-square-foot space, with wide aisles inside and a sign out front set off with the store’s green thumb logo. The business relocated from Central Avenue in Plaza Midwood to Lanier Plaza, located at 4400 E. Independence Boulevard. More than 70,000 vehicles pass by daily, more than double the traffic compared to the former space, according to Freedman.
Another major retailer, Conn’s HomePlus, recently opened their fourth Charlotte area location at 5704 E. Independence Blvd. They’re located behind the Meridian Place redevelopment project (including M Station apartments) that faces Monroe Road. On their website, Conn’s says they’re
Situated comfortably in the Independence Shopping Center across Andrew Jackson Highway from Folger Subaru of Charlotte, the newest Charlotte Conn’s HomePlus at the E. Independence Boulevard and Conference Drive intersection has everything you need to transform your house or apartment into a home. The massive 45,847 sq. ft. facility contains top-of-the-line electronics like new 4k TVs, Blu-ray players, home theater systems and much more.
Slowly but surely, retailers large and small are finding new opportunities in the US 74/Independence Blvd corridor.