Charlotte, N.C. - The West Side of Charlotte is getting some new life. Wilkinson Boulevard, the main artery, is where it’s starting to pop up.
One thing that’s helping turn the area around is the new airport entrance off of Wilkinson Boulevard which is bringing more traffic and interest into the area.
"It's really transformed the front door of the airport. It has provided better access to I-85 and created a better traffic flow," said Interim Aviation Director Brent Cagle.
The new entrance is also working as a doorway to the West Side.
"Now when you drive through, it's a lot brighter, you feel a lot safer when you're coming in. There was a time when our business leaders would actually take the long way around when coming from the airport to try and avoid Wilkinson Boulevard," said City Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield, who represents District Three.
A group of artists is also trying to paint a new image of the area. They set up shop one mile away from the new airport entrance taking advantage of the cheap rent.
"The prices are great here right now. You can get a space here. There's a lot of warehouse space here that's undeveloped and sitting empty. I thought this area could use something like us here to make something new,” said Jeffrey Barninger, artist and director of Union Shop.
He says the West Side could become the new hotspot for artists now that NODA and South End have jumped in price.
"We're hoping to have an impact in general on the art scene in Charlotte. I personally want this city to be the art center of the South. I want people to travel to Charlotte to see art," said Barninger.
And with the more people traveling on Wilkinson Boulevard thanks to the airport, more development is yet to come.
"I would say, keep your eyes open. In the next 9-15 months, you're going to see more development and ground moving closer to the airport near Wilkinson Boulevard," said Mayfield.
Airport officials say they completely support development in the area, but say it needs to be well thought out. That’s why they'll be presenting a development plan for the 25-square miles surrounding the airport to city council in the next couple of months.