RECOVERY TRENDS, CONTINUED
3. AIRPORT ENGINECharlotte's airport is the sixth busiest in the US, and a major economic development differentiator. Although critics say most flights are provided by USAirways, which creates some vulnerability, the airport is well positioned. It also has a strong bond rating, is in the midst of a billion-dollar renovation/expansion program, and is one of the few major airports with room to expand.
4. STRONG FINANCIAL HUB
Despite the demise of Wachovia, Charlotte is as relevant as ever in the financial services industry and remains the second-largest financial center in the nation, a fact that's a major driver in the office market. Wells Fargo (seen here on move-in day) has kept Charlotte as a major hub after buying Wachovia; BofA's headcount has held up; and TIAA-CREF, Teachers, AXA, SCOR, Ally, Fifth Third Bank, PNC, LPL, and many other financial services companies have a major presence here.
5. ENERGY GROWTH
With Duke Energy's acquisition of Progress Energy looking likely, Duke will become the largest public utility in the US. Charlotte has become a hub for the energy industry, and that too is driving demand.