restricted access The Corporate (Re) Construction of a New South City: Great Banks Need Great Cities

Charlotte's emergence as a major financial center has triggered the rapid and comprehensive revitalization of its urban core. The city's sleepy Southern image and sprawling suburban development pattern made it difficult for expansionary corporate interests to attract the human capital necessary for growth. In response to this challenge local banks and government formed a unique partnership that facilitated the remaking of Charlotte's city center in order to create a new urban image more palatable to financial sector workers. In Charlotte, leading and extended corporate involvement, an absence of conventional gentrifying pioneers, incumbent resident upgrading, the production of gentrifiable space and unconventional profit motives all combine to challenge theories of revitalization developed in other systematic or regional contexts. Beyond providing an overview of Charlotte's under-researched and inadequately understood restructuring processes, this paper contributes to a broadened understanding of the New South and addresses a level and region of the urban hierarchy that has long been overlooked.