I’ve lived on the border of South End for just over two years and have only now caught wind of the rumor: The triangular property between South Tryon Street and Camden Road could be purchased and redeveloped.

Ely Portillo, Charlotte Observer business reporter, confirmed that the last year has seen a number of rumors about new development of this site.

The tenants I touched base with were closed-mouthed about the issue of redevelopment, as that conversation primarily involves property owners and possible developers.

The risk: Possibly bumping the Food Truck Friday lot and the independent businesses in that triangle elsewhere. Businesses include: Asterisk Creative, Black Sheep, The Living Room, The Plaid Penguin and … The Common Market.

The horror. I’ve been going to Common Market at least once a week for two years. It’s a neighborhood staple. A gravitational center of quirk.

What South End would lose by losing Common Market:

(1) The back patio. Complete with live music or a DJ, picnic tables, graffitied benches and a decorative bathtub overgrown by foliage.

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IMG_2583(2) The deli. Dear hummus and tabouleh two-scoop salad, I love you.

IMG_2591(3) A craft beer mélange and the discounted, spinning rack of wine bottles. To fullfill a cheap-ish, wine-lover’s dream.

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(4) Kombucha on tap from Lenny Boy. Give me ginger anything.

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(5) The greatest gag gift selection. Who doesn’t need pickle bandages, finger sporks or a “squirrel in underpants” air freshener?

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(6) The beloved coffee selection by Magnolia coffee. Hot cup of the Good Hair Day or cold cup of the Frigid Bitch? What to choose, what to choose?

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(7) The alleyway of lights leading in from Camden. By night, they beam like a portal into a magical land.

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But let’s try to stay upbeat. One business owner said that, until news comes from the landlord, “It’s business as usual.”

And I’ll say, it’s fun to watch the apartments rise in South End, from 1100 South to Camden South End Apartments, to The Silos. My new neighbors can hang out at the newly opened Brass Tap, The Gallery M, Wooden Robot, The Unknown, Craft, and on. And on.

But I’d hate for them to miss out on the Common Market quirk.


Katie ToussaintKatie Toussaint once walked through the snow to get to Common Market. Most days, she edits for CharlotteFive and community news at the Charlotte Observer. Follow her on Twitter @katietoussaint.

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