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CHARLOTTE OBSERVER – Why one of Charlotte’s biggest developers is counting on the suburbs to drive growth

When it comes to growth, one of Charlotte’s biggest developers is betting big on the city’s suburban markets.

But Johnny Harris, CEO of Lincoln Harris, isn’t thinking about single-family subdivisions. He’s counting on dense, mixed-use developments mixing houses, apartments, office buildings, shops and restaurants, sprinkled around Charlotte’s periphery and outlying areas.

“I’m not sure any of us working on it really understood the strength of the market…The young people want to be able to live, work and play in the same place,” said Harris, whose company is wrapping up development on the first phase of Rea Farms in southeast Charlotte.

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CHARLOTTE AGENDA – Rea Farms is building a self-contained town in south Charlotte. Will it break the suburban mold?

One of the hottest trends in development right now is suburban shopping with an urban feel. South Charlotte will soon be saying hello to the latest iteration — Rea Farms.

Developer Lincoln Harris describes the 188-acre project alternately as its own little town and a “true destination.” By the end of the summer, they expect thousands of people to live, work, play and shop at Rea Farms — the urban planner’s dream.

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