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The Area Known as Area 15

The Area Known as Area 15
March 24, 2016 Cassee Cunningham

Area 15 Charlotte NC realtor Cassie CunninghamJust outside NoDa, in the Optimist Park neighborhood, sits one of the most colorful buildings you’ll find in Charlotte. This is Area 15. But just what is Area 15?

Area 15 is a small business incubator started by Arlene and Carlos Espin. This 23,000 sqft warehouse space is used to help small businesses succeed and grow. On their website, they describe the space as: “Area 15 includes studio spaces for techies, artists, musicians, and a diverse group of other professionals. We currently house over 20 small businesses, including other small business incubators, a ‘Really Really Freestore’, an Urban Prayer room, a bicycle recyclery, Heroic Fitness Gym, a free legal clinic, in addition to all sorts of craftsmen, tattooists, cooks, builders, designers, writers,etc.”

The “Really, Really Freestore” they mention is Free Store, where the motto is give what you want, take what you need.

Among the craftsmen are the folks behind Dragon Moonshine. This veteran owned and operated distillery is making rum and moonshine that you’ll soon find in area ABC stores.

The bicycle recyclery mentioned is Trips for Kids. This group does good work on so many levels – refurbishing bikes to sell to raise funds, teaching kids bike safety and responsibility which allows them to earn a bicycle of their own, and mentoring kids from fragile neighborhoods.

One of Area 15’s success stories, so to speak, is Not Just Coffee. They started in a small corner of Area 15, but their popularity made it so they soon outgrew the space. They now have two locations – one in 4th Ward at 7th Street Market and in SouthEnd at Atherton Mill and Market.

I encourage everyone to check out Area 15. This is one spot where there really is something for everyone. Want to live near Area 15? Give me a call and we’ll check out neighborhoods like NoDa, Optimist Park, Belmont, Villa Heights and more!

Image: The Area 15 Website