Villa Heights neighborhood going through changes

Longtime homeowners are being pushed out of Villa Heights by rapidly rising property values.

City leaders said Villa Heights has become a booming neighborhood, drawing big interest from developers.

Lerry Davis and many other homeowners have called Villa Heights home for more than 40 years. They said realtors and developers have started taking interest in their neighborhood because of how close it is to Uptown Charlotte.

Laura Davis said realtors constantly knock on her door. She said there's no price tag to make her move out but some residents have felt the pressure and gave in.

Newcomers tell Fox 46 Charlotte they're drawn to Villa Heights for different reasons. There are many attractions near the neighborhood that have enticed possible buyers.

The new light-rail line will be a few blocks away from the neighborhood. Also, violent crime and property crime has gone down in the area over the years, according to CMPD crime stats.

John Howard with the historic district said old homes that were once worth about $20,000 are now selling for about $250,000 after they're remodeled.

He said this may be causing some divide.

"Some may be racial. A lot of it is economic. Different people moving in...that change of demographics...that change of quality of life," Howard said.

Local historians said Villa Heights went through drastic changes in the past that makes residents worry even more now.

The Old Brooklyn neighborhood was designated for African Americans during the time of segregation. It was torn down in the late 60s due to urban renewal. African Americans moved to nearby mill villages like Villa Heights. This shifted the racial make up of the community.

Howard told Fox 446 Charlotte there's a country run program that looks out for senior citizens on a fixed income. They cannot be affected by property tax increases.

As Villa Heights remains stuck between the old and new, longtime homeowners expect the pressure to go up as new and remodeled homes pop up in their neighborhood.

Residents said they worry the nearby NODA neighborhood is overshadowing Villa Heights. 


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