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'Nobody is going to pay 3k to live in the hood': New Charlotte development raises gentrification concerns

New townhomes in Charlotte's Sugar Creek area are renting for about $3,000 a month. Neighbors say it's pricing out low-income residents.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new development near Sugar Creek Road in north Charlotte has created some buzz across Queen City, with people saying they're shocked by the price and location. 

You'll find Barbara Johnson, a Sugar Creek resident, sitting in her chair out front. She's out there at least four times a week with a drink in hand. It's her favorite spot and gets to see her neighborhood change by the day. 

“It was pretty much African American when I moved in," Johnson said. "A lot of people not from this part have moved here."

One of Johnson's neighbors said the same thing, but also chimed in that the area looks more beautiful by the day and called the development an upgrade. But while some call it beautification, others called it gentrification. 

The new development, called The Crossings at NoDa, is under construction. People WCNC Charlotte spoke to said they were shocked by the location and the price. 

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The townhomes are renting for about $3,000 a month. Neighbors said that price is anything but normal in that area. 

"Nobody is going to pay 3k to live in the hood," one person wrote on Reddit. Others asked who would pay for something that expensive in Sugar Creek. 

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Mark Hopper, the president of Hopper Communities, is behind the development. He said the area has promise and Sugar Creek is now following in the footsteps of other Charlotte areas. 

"It’s all about what pockets within this Sugar Creek area," Hopper said. "One point, nobody wanted to go on the other side, that west side of South Boulevard, and then no one wanted to go to 49.” 

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But with what some call a facelift to the neighborhood, others are left scared by the impacts. 

"This is like a low-income area and they build all these expensive houses and apartments," Johnson said. "They are just pricing the low-income people out. It definitely could hit me pretty hard."

Contact Austin Walker at awalker@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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