Charlotte Relocation Guide

VOL2 ISS2 2018

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Page 25 of 99

THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — CHARLOTTE | VOLUME 2 — ISSUE 2 24 BALLANTYNE Stroll through the southwest corner of Balla- nytne Commons Parkway and Johnston Road and this is what you'll see: four 30-foot landmarks dedicated to finance, human spirit, transportation, and technology. Reverend Billy Graham. The Wright brothers' plane. North Carolina's first steel-frame skyscraper. The Ca- tawba River dam. Charlotte's first train station. Created by Yugoslavian artist Boris Tomic, "The Monuments of Bal- lantyne" were commissioned by developer Johnny Harris to acknowledge Ballantyne's connection with and commit- ment to its Charlotte roots. Harris, a grandchild of former North Carolina Gov- ernor Cameron Morrison, began acquiring Ballantyne's nearly 2,000 acres in the late 1980s. He believed he could transform this mostly undeveloped land in south Mecklenburg County into a community of 10,000 people. And he was right — except he wasn't the one to do it. In 1995, he sold the land to his brother-in-law Smoky Bissell, who went on to name it after his aunt, Barbara Ballantyne, and created one of the most successful devel- opments in the Southeast. Just two decades later, people often describe the more than 24,000-person community as "the best of what sub- urbia has to offer." Packed with attractive modern homes and retail complexes catering to everything you could ever need, Ballantyne draws residents who crave big-city conveniences without the incessant hustle and bustle of urban life. As Bissell dreamt, the Ballantyne Corporate Park, today, houses more than 14,000 employees across 250 businesses including Fortune 500 headquarters and more than 35 Fortune 500 companies. Major industries in the park include financial services, healthcare and wellness, real estate, and insurance, to name a few. In 2010, The Building Owners and Managers Association International awarded the park its "International Office Park of the Year" designation, and today, it's officially the largest of- fice park in Charlotte, with almost 4 million square feet of Class A office space. A breeding ground for experienced professionals and budding entrepreneurs, it's no surprise that Wingate Uni- versity moved its Matthews campus to the park in 2013. The school offers a master's in business administration, graduate programs in sports management and education, and two undergraduate programs for working adults — one in human services and the other in organizational communication and management. Working or taking classes in the park definitely has its perks. Golfers, alone, will love it for three reasons: there's a putting green in the middle of the parking lot, an Ballantyne upscale, progressive, flourishing ALYSSA LAFARO 18-hole PGA course, and a golf academy with an award- winning team of LPGA and PGA instructors. Other ath- letes and outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the park's 16 miles of sidewalks, bike lanes on every street, four catch- and-release ponds, softball and soccer teams, and a new 24,000-square-foot YMCA. When it comes to food, this land of amenities does not disappoint. May all your breakfast dreams come true at the Rush Espresso Café & Wine Bar. Try the chocolate hazelnut French toast, tomato crostini with whipped feta, or the egg & avo smash burger — a warm French bread roll filled with mashed poached eggs and breakfast guacamole. Please your ethnic palette at one of Ballantyne's many international restaurants. Savor the crabmeat ravioli with lobster cream at Oggi Ristorante Italiano, the lemongrass grilled pork belly skewer at Be's Noodles & Banh Mi, or the Ahi tuna-packed, poké sauce-covered Hawaiian classic bowl at Poké's Café. Follow your foodie experience with a fresh cigar from Tinder Box Charlotte, or catch an indie flick — and grab a drink at the bar — at the Regal Ballantyne Village 5 Stadium. Enjoy suburban views over suds at Brazwells Premium Pub's rooftop bar, or learn to master the Shag, Salsa, and Foxtrot at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Experience the punch of a 12-year malt at the gathering of The Ballantyne Hotel's monthly whiskey club, or hang with the three, 2,000-pound bronze bulls found in Ballantyne Corporate Park. It's no wonder why Charlotte Magazine once called Ballanytne the "suburb on steroids." Everything you'll ever need is right here. []

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