Charlotte, NC: Back in the later years of the last century KC and I rented a house in Chantilly. It was a cute little bungalow: just two bedrooms and one bath . We were very young, basically broke and just starting out. Most people who lived there were teachers, fire and policeman, mail carriers, etc. It was affordable to the salt of the earth working people who lived there.
First established in 1913 far out in the country, Chantilly boomed with the return of GI's from WWII. Cottage style homes like the one we rented were average for the times and cost about $7,000 for an upscale one. It was bordered by Independence Boulevard on the north and 7th Street on the south and it was easily accessed by both. There it sat unchanged for years. Close to Uptown, and getting closer as the city grew, Chantilly was a jumping off spot for many families.
Independence had long ago been transformed from a two lane residential street into a four land highway, but one day it morphed into the limited access freeway you see today...and Chantilly was cut off. No longer could you access the neighborhood from Independence and that brought huge changes to what was once a blue collar working class neighborhood.
When Chantilly was cut off from Independence Boulevard it could only be accessed from Pecan Drive or 7th Street...both located in the very hip Elizabeth section. Filled with upscale early twentieth century cottages and mansions near the hospitals Elizabeth was the home of doctors, lawyers, and the like. Closing Chantilly off from the working class areas north of Independence Boulevard changed the entire dynamic of the neighborhood.
Today the average price of a home in Chantilly is $455,402 almost double the average price for a home in Charlotte. The average age of a home is 61, but do not mistake this as old and tired. Almost all of these homes have been "pop topped" and added onto so they are barely a shadow of their former modest selves. The neighborhood has moved way closer to Uptown and is wedged between Elizabeth and the hip and funky Plaza Midwood...one of the hippest hoods in town with its art galleries, pop up markets, abundant restaurants and funky shops. There is a seven acre park, Montessori school, tree lined streets and an easy walk to bars and stores galore.