CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Everyone in Charlotte knows where the Park Road Shopping Center is, but no one knows what to call its surrounding blocks.
"I've heard Madison Park, SouthPark, Myers Park, Dilworth, Park Road Shopping Center, Montford, Selwyn," said Rachel Russell of GRUBB Properties. "I live in the neighborhood and I don't know what to call it!"
It's true. In the 50-plus years it's been there, the area between Park Road and Little Sugar Creek, south of Park Road Shopping Center and north of Selwyn Avenue, has never had a name of its own.
The shopping center is the landmark people know. Nearby Montford Drive is where they like to go out. Madison Park is the biggest neighborhood close, but Myers Park is just a hop, skip, and a jump over the creek.
Developers bringing more than 1,000 new apartments to the wedge-shaped area in the next few years thought the area could use a name.
"We're trying to figure it out. What do people want? What do they call it today, and what do they want it to be called in the future?" Russell asked.
After a series of community meetings with nearby neighborhoods, the developers narrowed the choices down to a few. Mad Park, Park Montford, and Park Woodlawn made the list.
Reactions to the names, posted in a survey by Yellow Duck Marketing on Nextdoor.com, a neighborhood social media site, were mixed.
"I don't' see what the attraction of 'Mad Park' would be," said one person.
"Why do we have to rename Madison Park?" asked another.
Russell reassured respondents that Madison Park is not changing its name. She also said the group is still open to suggestions.
"There are some polarizing responses on what the name should be," said Russell. "But the concept of branding your neighborhood is a concept everyone has been very excited about."
The goal is to find a name that recognizes the area's history, while giving a nod to the commercial, entertainment, and residential areas there.
A tall order, but Adrienne Wlodarczyk thinks it can be done.
As she sat at park Road Shopping Center sipping coffee at a patio table on New Year's Eve, she mentioned that she loves the neighborhood within walking distance to the home she moved to a few months ago.
"I think it's important to have a name, but you can have a name and not have the right feeling," said Wlodarczyk. "Here, we don't have a name, but we have the right feeling. People are extremely friendly."
Yellow Duck Marketing and GRUBB Properties, along with other developers, want to hear what neighbors think about potential names.
They're hosing a meeting at Pfeiffer University on Park Road at 6 p.m. on January 20. The public is welcome to attend.