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University City a magnet for residents, retailers (access required)

By Tara Ramsey While Charlotte’s population has not quite doubled in the past two decades, in less time than that, University City — home to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Concord Mills mall and racing facilities — has seen its population surge by nearly 300 percent. University City’s population has grown from 44,831 17 years ago to 155,000 today, an increase of 245 percent, according to University City Partners, a municipal service district funded by a property tax of 3 cents for every $100 in value of properties in the district. That influx of people can be largely attributed to employment opportunities in the area, such as University Research Park or the branch of the Carolinas Medical Center, area officials say. But while community leaders laud the area’s successes and push for even more development, population explosions are raising concerns about overcrowding at schools. Officials are also focused on keeping traffic from getting out of hand.

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