Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ballantyne Village is Making a Comeback

As I was legally loitering around Ballantyne Village for this article, I accosted a random human being for his thoughts. “The Village is coming back,” he said, briskly walking back to work and away from me, an equally random human being.
Ballantyne-Village
The word comeback implies a return to something that used to be great. The Village’s prior struggles have been well aired in the media, with bankruptcy, an ownership change, and a sordid parking dispute making headlines. It’s been a soap opera, with customers and businesses caught in the middle.
Fast forward to the present and the drama appears to be over. All parking spaces areopen (however, watch out for the concrete blocks waiting to take a chunk out of your car) and Vision Ventures, current owner and previous owner of the EpiCentre, is working on a long range plan to rebrand the mixed use, but mostly retail, 166,000 sq. foot space.
Parking
The rebranding efforts are working. There’s a buzz happening in Ballantyne Village and it’s generating an energy for families, professionals, and anyone else looking for a quaint atmosphere with unique dining, shopping, and entertainment experiences.
Why You Should Go:  
Art in the Village: Stroll through the gallery, meet the artists, buy art. These artists are all local, it’s a mini Arts in the Park every fourth Friday of the month, 6-9pm.
Art-in-the-Village
The 3H Shoppes: Homemade, Homegrown, Handmade-open Tuesdays and Saturdays 12-6, featuring local vendors chosen on a juried program. Vendors that pass a juried program sound pretty legitimate.
3H-charlotte
Services, Services: Get your wig blown out, your nails did, your ‘stache trimmed, your crib pimped, and more.
Services-at-Ballantyne
Prime People Watching: There’s nothing better than sitting outside on a nice day, scoping out the crowd. Plenty of outdoor dining and loitering options are scattered around the meticulously landscaped property. There’s tattoos, suits, and lots of athleisurewear to take in as you sip your coffee.
Outdoor-Seating
Speaking of Coffee: People who Agenda love their coffee. We have a lot of love for local coffee shops and Rush Espresso deserves a spot in this tribe. Rush has a charming European flair and in addition to coffee, they serve breakfast and lunch. Rush is a great place to set up shop to knock out a few hours of work or daydreams.
Rush-Espresso
Village KidsThere’s at least one family program a month featuring music, games, and fun. It’s all free and card carrying members also receive discounts around the Village. Not sure what the age limit is, but I’m submitting my application.

Food, Food, Food: The Blue TajTerrace CafĂ©JADE Asian Fusion Sushi BarVilla AntonioMellow Mushroom…there really is something for everyone here, it’s a melting pot of restaurants. There are a few chain eateries, but mostly the Village cuisine is a Charlotte experience.
ballantyne-restaurants
Did Someone Say Art House Theatre? The Regal Ballantyne Village Stadium 5 is one of three Regal art house theatres in Charlotte. Get cultured at this gem with new releases, indies, throwbacks, and other specialized, interesting films that will make you smarter. The seats are super plush in vintage theatre style and they offer wine in concessions.  Yes, wine.
Theatre
On the Horizon: There’s new tenants and changes in the pipeline, here are a few highlights:
  • Tinder Box: An upscale cigar shop with a humidor made of Spanish cedar. Tour, please.
  • Nouveaux: A couture, and luxury woman’s consignment shop. Sounds like a freelance writer’s budget dream.
  • Village Market: 11,000 sq. foot market featuring specialty foods in a cluster of seven-eight retail outlets. Chocolates, fresh seafood, craft beers. This concept sounds incredible.
  • BlackFinn Ameripub: EpiCentre patrons know this restaurant already, BlackFinn will be bringing their American food, craft beers, and cocktails to the Village in 2016.
  • Gusto Pasta: Villa Antonio will relocate from their current location and re-concept into a smaller space featuring sangria, fresh pasta, and tapas.
Let’s talk about the architecture: In addition to a “Main Street” and Art Deco feel, Charlotte firm, aiDesign Group, was asked to create a “landmark architectural statement” and they delivered. You can’t miss the “Crown,” the three story glass tower that houses the theater. The Crown is lit with programmable LED lighting capable of an infinite number (that’s a lot) of color combinations and is a beacon for Ballantyne that comes with a matching fountain. 
ballantyne-village-crown
Indeed, the Village IS coming back. Check out Ballantyne (B-Town as Ted calls it). The Village is on the bustling corner of Johnston and Ballantyne Commons Parkway, across from The Ballantyne Hotel. It’s not as far as you think, you can see Uptown from here, even on a cloudy day.
Ballantyne-Village-Charlotte
Uptown-Charlotte-skyline
Ballantyne Village14825 Ballantyne Village Way

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Why is Downtown Charlotte Called “Uptown”?

You know it’s coming. The most vexing question posed by visiting out-of-town guests: “Why does Charlotte refer to its downtown as … uptown?”
I asked several notable Charlotteans what they thought.
David Marsh
Marsh
SwimMAC Carolina’s CEO & Director of Coaching.
Marsh has coached 47 Olympians from 19 countries and owns 12 NCAA titles from his time at Auburn.
“I assumed it had something to do with the Southern vernacular related to ‘uppity town.’ Being a coach that works ‘uptown’ daily but lives in the quaint village of Davidson, I can relate to the appropriateness of ‘Uppity Town.’ Let’s brand it nationally!”
Uh … no. Thanks for playing, David.
Thomas Morgan
TomMorgan
Filmmaker.
Morgan splits his time between Charlotte and Singapore where they call downtown “downtown.”
His recent documentary film “Waiting for Mamu,” won Audience Favorite at the 2013 Traverse City Film Festival.
“The queen sounds classy as an ‘uptown’ lady as opposed to a downtown tramp – and so it was.”
Nice try Tom.
Amy Herman & Corri Smith
Co-founders #instabeerupCLT.
Amy: “Uptown is on a hill, it’s above everything else and people coming from elsewhere were coming ‘uptown.’”
Amy
Corri: “Uptown sounds fancier. I think someone who lives on one of the Sharon Roads came up with it.”
corri
Amy may be on to something. Corri … maybe not.
Mike Collins
Collins
Host of WFAE’s Charlotte Talks and co-creator of the hilarious annual spoof “Charlotte Squawks.”
“Have you ever tried walking there from any direction? No, of course not, we all drive there or take the Lynx. But if you do, you’ll quickly discover you’re walking uphill. That and the fact that uptown makes us sound elite.”
Getting closer …

Monday, June 1, 2015

19 Things a New Homeowner Should Do Immediately to Save Money

couple moving into new house
So you’ve just moved into your nice new home. You’ve unloaded the boxes and started to unpack your life.
Right now is the perfect time to walk through a checklist of ways to save money on your home for years to come.
Starting on these things as early as possible will allow you to start saving money sooner rather than later. Plus, some of them will be easier to accomplish before you hang pictures or get too settled in — and lose your move-in momentum. Here are 19 things to check or do immediately that will reduce the energy and maintenance costs of your home over the long haul.

19 Things to Do Immediately to Reduce Your Home Energy and Maintenance Costs

1. Check the insulation in your attic – and install more if needed.

If you have an unfinished attic, pop your head up there and take a look around. You should see insulation up there between the beams, and there should be at least six inches of it everywhere (more if you live in the northern part of the United States).
If there’s inadequate insulation up there – or the insulation you have appears to be damaged – install new insulation. Here’s a great guide from the Department of Energy on attic insulation, including specifics on how much you should have depending on where you live. Many states offer financial incentives, up to a 75% refund for instance, to encourage homeowners to better insulate their homes.

2. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius).

This is the optimum temperature for your hot water heater. Most people don’t use water hotter than 120 degrees — indeed, water hotter than that can scald you or a child — and thus the energy needed to keep the water above 120 degrees isn’t used effectively. Lower the temperature, save money on your energy bill, and you’ll never skip a beat.

3. Toss a water heater blanket over that hot water heater as well.

While most modern hot water heaters are well-insulated, some are insulated better than others, and many older heaters aren’t insulated well at all. A small investment in a blanket for your water heater will slowly and gradually save you money on your heating bill over time by keeping the heat in the water instead of letting it disperse slowly into your basement or utility closet.
The Department of Energy recommends being “careful not to cover the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment.” And of course, on-demand (or “tankless”) water heaters don’t require this treatment.

4. Install ceiling fans in most rooms.

Ceiling fans are a low-energy way to keep air moving in your home. Because of the air circulation effect, you can get away with keeping your thermostat a degree or two higher in summer and a degree or two lower in winter, netting a rather large savings.
A while back, I wrote a guide to maximizing ceiling fan use. The most important thing to know is that the air directly below the fan should be blowing down on you in the summer and should be pulled upwards away from you in the winter — you can use the reversal switch on your fan to switch between the modes at the start of each season.
installing a ceiling fan
Installing ceiling fans to circulate air can save on cooling – and heating – costs. Photo: Ryan Schreiber

5. Wrap exposed water pipes with insulation.

Exposed hot water pipes lose heat as they move water from your heater to your faucet or shower. Wrapping them in pipe insulation, especially in cold basements or garages, can make a two- to four-degree difference in the temperature of the water, and also allows hot water to reach your faucet faster.
Check the pipes into and out of your hot water heater first, as the first three feet out of the heater (and the last few feet of inlet water) are key. Use good-quality pipe insulation for the job, which is actually quite simple — here’s a tutorial.

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Our Community of Stonebridge, Mint Hill North Carolina



Come view our beautiful Isabella Model in the fantastic community of Stonebridge located in Mint Hill, North Carolina. We are currently building 4 Classic Series Homes. Here are the homes we have available for you!

One Carmel (with POND VIEW) 
Two Parks (One with an unfinished Basement on 1.5 Acres!)
One Providence II. 

Check our page for Stonebridge to see what all the buzz is about by clicking here. Come and see why people want to move to Mint Hill! 

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The Community of Merritt Meadows, Fort Mill South Carolina

NOW OPEN in Fort Mill!


Merritt Meadows is an all-brick community conveniently located on Hwy 160 in Fort Mill, near Gold Hill Road.  This is one of the most central locations available in the town of Fort Mill! While being central to restaurants, gyms, and attractions, the community of Merritt Meadows remains a safe and family friendly neighborhood. With Fort Mill's award winning schools and southern charm, it is the best place for you and your family to be!

We are offering floor plans ranging from 1800 sq ft - 4,000 sq ft, both ranch and 2 story plans.  Granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, hardwoods, tile, 9'ceilings, 42" cabinets, tray ceilings are just some of the included features we offer.  Low county taxes.  Starting in the low to mid $300's.


Call Melanie Adams, Becky Elliott, or Kevin Casner for more information at 803-336-5454 or stop by and view our newly decorated Carmel model home.

http://livewellhomes.net/content/the-community-merritt-meadows-fort-mill-south-carolina

Check our website out here, LiveWell Homes! 
NOW OPEN in Fort Mill!  
Merritt Meadows is an all-brick community conveniently located on Hwy 160 in Fort Mill, near Gold Hill Road.  This is one of the most central locations available in the town of Fort Mill! While being central to restaurants, gyms, and attractions, the community of Merritt Meadows remains a safe and family friendly neighborhood. With Fort Mill's award winning schools and southern charm, it is the best place for you and your family to be!
We are offering floorplans ranging from 1800 sq ft - 4,000 sq ft, both ranch and 2 story plans.  Granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, hardwoods, tile, 9'ceilings, 42" cabinets, tray ceilings are just some of the included features we offer.  Low county taxes.  Starting in the low to mid $300's.

Call Melanie Adams, Becky Elliott, or Kevin Casner for more information at 803-336-5454 or stop by and view our newly decorated Carmel model home.
- See more at: http://livewellhomes.net/content/the-community-merritt-meadows-fort-mill-south-carolina#sthash.HyJcydg5.dpuf