UNC Charlotte Honors College and Charlotte Action Research Project Interviews on Charlotte Neighborhoods

Small But Significant : The Optimist Park Community
Optimist Park, a small community just outside the 277 beltway, is facing intense gentrification pressure due to the Blue Line Light Rail Extension and Charlotte’s growth. As apartment buildings are planned and begin to take shape, the residents work to maintain Optimist Park’s identity and history, both as an area with a historical connection to Charlotte’s old textile mills, and as a neighborhood representing the city's first major efforts to provide affordable housing through the Habitat for Humanity program. Residents are working to preserve this history and work together amid a changing city.