Newell – Charlotte, NC

Just south of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte campus, Newell is a small town of approximately 6,000 residents. College students comprise 13 percent of the population, many of whom live only nine months of the year in Newell, so permanent residents see the area vacated for a portion of the year. A residential community with a low crime rate, Newell provides safe and affordable housing within five minutes of the amenities of the UNCC area and 20 minutes of downtown Charlotte.

Restaurants & Nightlife

As it's a residential community, Newell proper hosts few restaurants within its limits. However, the community is only five minutes from the UNCC campus, where a variety of restaurants cater to appetites of all sorts. For diners seeking fresh seafood prepared in traditional Southern recipes, Harbor Inn Seafood can't be beat. An unpretentious restaurant, the restaurant provides diners with plastic flatware, but don't be fooled: this place serves some of the area's best seafood, delighting even those who usually don't care for fish. A selection of grilled steaks is also available for an alternative to seafood. While broiled fish fillets, shrimp and crab legs offer delicious health-conscious options, diners all agree that the fried fish is worth the extra calories. Located at the Shoppes at University Place, Firewater Restaurant and Bar is perhaps the area's most original restaurant. Featuring an eclectic menu ranging from seared tuna in a wasabi mango puree to grilled chicken quesadillas, Firewater ensures that even regular customers enjoy a new dining experience every time. Two private dining rooms, one for large gatherings of up to 60 and one overlooking the lake, provide the perfect venue for your next event. For a quick weekday lunch, try a soup, salad and sandwich off the restaurants bargain-priced lunch menu. Also found at University Place, the Wine Vault proves to be the University area's premiere wine bar and beer garden. Featuring outdoor patio seating and live music on weekends, the Wine Vault provides a convivial atmosphere to enjoy a drink. Hosting beer and wine tasting for only $5 per person, this spot gives customers ample opportunity to expand their palates. The Wine Vault's professional staff can accommodate private events on site, or they can bring the tasting to your home or office.

History & Culture

In 1883, brothers John and William Newell established a cotton press along the newly built Richmond and Danville Railroad. With the railroads providing farmers an easy way to ship their cotton, the town quickly grew, establishing a post office, Presbyterian church and private school. The farmers prospered and were soon able to replace their old log cabins with more elaborate dwellings, bringing Folk Victorian architecture to the town. While most of these houses have been lost to time, the Newell-Neil house, once home to founder John Newell’s daughter Rachel, still stands. Although in a state of disrepair, history buffs willing to look beyond the surface find the house a fascinating study of local history.

Transportation

Most Newell residents commute by car, with 86 percent travelling alone and 13 percent participating in a carpool. Commuters to downtown Charlotte can avoid the traffic on US-85 by travelling via Old Concord Road to Tryon Street, which is a 20-minute drive. Charlotte Taxi Cab operates out of Newell, offering cabs, busses, limousines, and party buses – including handicapped-accessible vehicles – all of which require reservations through the company’s dispatch center. In addition to traditional taxi services, Uber employs drivers based in Newell. The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) operates two bus routes between the UNCC campus and central Charlotte, available approximately every 45 minutes. Also located on the UNCC, Hertz 24/7 offers hourly self-service car rentals. Although no dedicated bike lanes exist in Newell, cyclists commuting from UNCC are a common sight, and drivers conscientiously share the road.

Cost

Cost of living in Newell runs about 6 percent lower than the Charlotte average, with affordable housing being the greatest contributing factor. A one-bedroom apartment can be secured for under $700 a month, compared to the average Charlotte asking price of $868. However, the majority of residents own their homes, which can be purchased for 22 percent less than a typical Charlotte home. Limited bus service into downtown Charlotte is available just outside Newell at the UNCC campus. A single ticket costs $3, or you can purchase an unlimited monthly pass for $121. Commuters traveling by car are in luck, as gas prices in Newell are 3 percent lower than the national average.

Shopping

The Shoppes at University Place provides Newell’s most accessible and comprehensive shopping center. Sam’s Club and Rooms to Go anchor the 65-shop center, and boutiques housed in quaint building overlook a lake, where paddleboat rides and concert series distinguish University Place from a typical mall. Shoppers in search of a fashion bargain find that the Shoppes at University Place does not disappoint, with Chico's Outlet and Velocity Boutique providing the latest designs and styles. More adventurous shoppers appreciate the Uptown Cheapskate, a clothing reseller with an ever-changing selection. For stylish urban footwear not found anywhere else in Charlotte, check out Velocity Sneaker Boutique. With fashion buyers who search the country for fashion-forward sneakers by both major brands and up-and-coming labels, Velocity stocks unique options for clients seeking to create a personal style. Food Lion serves as Newell’s primary supermarket, while specialty grocers including the Gandhi International Market provide the Newell and UNCC community with unique foods from around the world. Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Newell Farmer’s Market opens along Rocky River Road. Primarily offering fresh produce, jams and jellies from the Newton family farm, the market also contracts with local live stock producers. Beef or pork sausages, homemade butter and cheeses are available most weeks, and customers can preorder fresh chicken and seafood as late as Friday afternoon to be picked up Saturday morning.

Parks

Just south of Newell lies the Reedy Creek Park and Nature Preserve. A 146-acre park featuring volleyball courts, basketball courts, softball fields, a soccer field, a disk golf course, and even a cricket field, athletes of all varieties flock to Reedy Creek. And with 10 picnic shelters – nine outdoor and one indoor – folks looking for a more leisurely afternoon also appreciate this park. The park’s most celebrated highlight, however, is Barkingham Park. The fenced dog park, half open field and half woods, welcomes dogs to go off leash to chase a tennis ball or explore the wooded trail. Dogs can always find a new friend on busy weekend mornings, or they can enjoy a quieter environment on weekday afternoons. Adjacent to the park is the nature preserve. With 109 species of birds, 15 species of mammals, 20 species of reptiles and 12 species of amphibians calling the nature preserver home, hikers and cyclists exploring the preserve’s 10 miles of trails can expect countless animal sightings. For visitors more interested in local history, the preserve’s most popular trail leads to the ruins of the historic Robinson Rockhouse.
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