Park Road Shopping Center Incorporated In Charlotte, NC

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Park Road Shopping Center boasts a history unlike any shopping center in Charlotte, or the Southeast, for that matter. In a day where malls and outlet centers are commonplace, one place has maintained its quaint charm while offering its customers what they need. The first open air shopping center in Charlotte, and the largest of any kind between Washington D.C. and Atlanta, it opened on November 15, 1956, on a cool and blustery day with 32 spanking new stores that was considered a bold move by business leaders at the time. Charlotte shopping was concentrated in the downtown area, but as neighborhoods began to sprout further Southeast from downtown, the idea of a neighborhood shopping center began in the mind of developer A.V. Blankenship. Mr. Blankenship purchased the land on the corner of Woodlawn and Park Roads in what was then between two growing neighborhoods, building the shopping center on its 40 acres.


The opening of the center was filled with excitement. The spectators were welcomed to the center by many notables, among them J.C. Penney, who despite his 82 years, made the trip to welcome shoppers to the opening of his first Charlotte store. The center was a first not only for Charlotte, but for the entire Southeast. Park Road Shopping Center unveiled its trademark—the large, red sign that could be seen for blocks that stands today as a testament to its enduring longevity.

The crescent-shaped shopping center sported a brand new Colonial grocery store, and shoppers that first day received a complimentary five pound bag of sugar. A drawing was held for visitors that day to win one of three brand new 1957 Fords, and the 2,400 parking spaces allowed shoppers plenty of space to park close to the shops where seemingly endless rows of merchandise were waiting. Customers soon discovered they were within easy walking distance to the shops, and before long other developers began to think Mr. Blankenship's idea was a stroke of genius.

The center is located in a residential area rich in history and whose customers have proven loyal throughout its 48 years. While other centers have peaked and waned over the years, Park Road Shopping Center has seemed to improve with age. It features a great mix of stores and services, and management is always moving to update that mix. While merchant turnover is low, when stores do turnover, new shop owners line up to fill the spaces. The Center has maintained a sense of community, connecting to a high-rise apartment complex with an overhead walkway. For residents without cars, the shopping center fulfills virtually all of its consumer needs. Between its ideal demographic location and its wide variety of stores, Park Road Shopping Center continues to serve the purpose for which it was first created—to be a user-friendly neighborhood shopping center.

4201 Park Rd, Ste A
North Carolina (NC)
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