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Ballantyne 

Urbex 2008: Battle of the hoods

Ballantyne, located on the extreme southern boundary of Charlotte, is the city's most recent large-scale suburban area. The perfect picture of modern sprawl, Ballantyne is known for its luxurious mini-mansions, high-end retail shops, large hotels and swanky country clubs. And because it's located so far from the heart of Charlotte, driving to Ballantyne can feel like you're taking the long way to your grandmother's house.

It's mostly a residential and commercial area and offers very little to attract tourists and casual visitors, other than the Ballantyne Resort and the Dana Rader School of Golf. But if you want to make the trip to do a little house seeing, it's well worth the drive.

What's so great about Ballantyne?

"I believe Ballantyne is one of those live-work communities -- it's supposed to have everything," says Nikita Devereaux, who's lived in Ballantyne for 4 years. "Live, work, play kind of thing. That's what originally attracted us to the area. We can get our whole lives very close to us, with the dining, employers, lots of corporate buildings as well as houses and good schools. I think it's a community that has something for everyone. There's a good basis here for families. There are lots of Little League programs, basketball, baseball, what have you."

Favorite hangouts?

"I'm a gym rat, so I'm at the Ballantyne Y[MCA] pretty much every morning. I'm also a big-time Firebird's fan, and there's a Firebird Stonecrest where I do all of my business lunch meetings.


Hood Stats


Dimension Ratings

Social Dimension: ...................................................Low

Crime Dimension: ...................................................Low

Physical Dimension: ...............................................Low

Economic Dimension: .............................................Low

Profile NSA City

Population: ...........................................................8,200 656,983

Youth Population: ................................................ 2,471 168,188

Number of Housing Units: ...................................3,448 281,358

Area (Acres): ........................................................1,789 150,093

Median Household Income: .................................$109,104 $46,082

Average House Value:...........................................$346,738 $192,844

Number of Organizations:.....................................4 N/A

Unemployment Index:...........................................Low N/A


Hood Attractions


RESTAURANTS AND BARS

GLOBAL RESTAURANT BAR & LOUNGE, 3520 Toringdon Way, 704-248-0866, www.globalrestaurant.com. Leave it to a Frenchman, chef and owner Bernard Brunet, to put the world on a plate. Try distinct dishes from the world over: India, Tahiti, Japan, France, Peru, and more in an intimate, cozy atmosphere. Global is off the beaten path, but this food is prepared by a talented chef and should be noticed. D $$$$

JADE ASIAN FUSION SUSHI BAR. 14815 John J. Delaney Dr., 704-369-5088. A delightful variety from all over Asia. Includes Korean short ribs, Sichuan chicken, Malaysian flounder, curries, noodle and rice dishes, stir fries and sushi. L, D $$$$

KILWIN'S CHOCOLATE AND ICE CREAM SHOPPE, 14835 John Delaney Dr., 704-369-5250. Offering ice cream, chocolate, bear claws, truffles, caramel popcorn and taffy. Kilwin's is pure Americana from America's Midwest.

STICKY FINGERS RIBHOUSE, 12410 Johnston Rd., 704-926-3441. Known for the best authentic Memphis-style ribs and barbecue in the South. Create your own combo of the hickory smoked ribs, wings and barbecue pork paired with any of the five signature Sticky Fingers sauces and seasonings.

TABLE RESTAURANT, 14835 John J. Delaney Dr., 704-369-5170. Restaurateur Alex Myrick does a spin on the Rainbow Room with modern American influence, cheese cellars, and wine towers. Live music on weekends. L, D $$

VESUVIO PIZZERIA, 14815 John J. Delaney Dr., 704-369-5040. A neighborhood pizzeria and bar with an upscale mood; offers wood-fired pizza and baked pasta dishes. L, D $$


Cultural and Entertainment Venues

BALLANTYNE VILLAGE THEATER, 14815 John J. Delaney Dr., 704-369-5100

Charlotte's upscale venue for art, foreign and independent films. Offers gourmet concessions and a beer and wine bar and luxury seating. Located in a cool building that looks like a space ship.

STONECREST AT PIPER GLEN, Ballantyne Commons Parkway at Rea Road. Stonecrest is a large shopping center with many shops, including a Borders and a 22-screen movie theater called Regal Cinemas. Great people watching by the fountain in the summertime.


OTHER SERVICES:

BALLANTYNE COMMONS EAST, Ballantyne Commons Parkway at Johnston Rd. A plethora of daily conveniences here, including a dentist's office, chiropractor, jewelry store, hair and nail salons, UPS store, a number of restaurants and more.

BALLANTYNE RESORT, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway, 704-248-4000. Guests are greeted with cushy spa slippers and a luscious robe, and then invited to relax with a beverage while gazing over the golf course. A variety of specialty treatments and massages are available for individuals or couples.

CHARLOTTE YOGA, 15640 John J. Delaney Dr. Suite C, 704-759-9302. Offers a number of different styles including Hot 26 and Power Yoga.

VOCI SPA, Stonecrest at Piper Glen, 7804 Rea Rd., 704-752-8030. Full-service spa offering manicures, pedicures, facials and a variety of massages, including deep tissue, aromatherapy and La Stone Therapy.


PARKS AND RECREATION

521 RECREATION CENTER, 11401 Ardrey Kell Rd., 704-540-2426.

MCALPINE CREEK GREENWAY

MCMULLEN CREEK GREENWAY

MORRISON FAMILY YMCA AT BALLANTYNE, 9405 Bryant Farms Road, 704-716-4650. Facilities include a theater-style fitness center with state of the art cardiovascular and strength-training equipment, twin court gyms, group exercise classes and a Health and Wellness program, plus an outdoor water park with a 40,000 square foot deck and pool area.

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