East Charlotte is a large conglomeration of neighborhoods in Charlotte. Since it is not a unified district, it has no official boundaries; however, it is generally recognized that the area begins east of Independence Blvd.(NC Highway 74), west of W.T. Harris Blvd., and south of The Plaza. Though large parts of the East Side are considered depressed or fragile, it is quickly becoming the city's most colorful quadrant. Large immigrant communities have made their home here, creating an air of diversity unparalleled anywhere else in the city.
It should be noted that this article does not contain information about the distinctive Plaza-Midwood neighborhood.
Located minutes from uptown, much of Charlotte's early history can be traced to the settling of East Charlotte. Although the area has strong historic roots, the area has gone through a series of boom and bust cycles as Charlotte has grown. Currently East Charlotte is working its way out of a long period of neglect and depression and is slowly beginning to revitalize and redevelop.
Covering a large portion of the city's Eastern end, East Charlotte spans the area between University city and Mint Hill bound by Independence Boulevard and 485. Although this area does contain depressed and unattractive sections along several of its thoroughfares, it is regarded by those that live in the area as a diamond in the rough. Businesses located in East Charlotte also depict the area similarly to its residents citing easy access to main transportation corridors, existing infrastructure, and low costs.
East Charlotte’s established infrastructure, which includes excellent access to main roads (Independence (US 74), 485 and I 85) and rail, makes it a prime target for increased redevelopment as the city grows. To date, the city of Charlotte has already begun implementing a variety of plans to further improve the area and spur new growth by redeveloping or demolishing blighted properties, adding aesthetically pleasing hardscape plus complimentary plantings, and updating existing infrastructure to serve growing needs.
East Charlotte contains some of Charlotte's most interesting cultural development. The area is well known for its prevalent and diverse immigrant composition, inherent cultural diversity, and largely peaceful coexistence of people from all over the world. A pleasant consequence is that virtually any kind of ethnic food can be found here, and much of the city's "street life" gravitates toward this part of town. Excellent international restaurants known for their outstanding cuisine dominate the area and range from traditional southern to international.
Neighborhoods vary greatly in East Charlotte ranging from stately collections of million dollar homes to very visible and dated public housing along certain thoroughfares. For the most part, neighborhoods consist of either new starter homes or are targeted at the solidly middle class. Generally neighborhoods are very walkable and consist mainly of classic mid-century homes on large lots with mature shady streets and sidewalks throughout. Community members tend to be very active and vocal about their area taking great care to promote preservation and improvement of its more mature neighborhoods, its parks including Reedy Creek Nature preserve and Nature center, and its historic places.
East Charlotte is also home to many historic landmarks including one of Charlotte’s most historic landmarks, the Hezekiah Alexander House, the oldest surviving house in Mecklenburg County. Listed on the National Register for Historic Places, it was built circa 1774 and still stands on its original site. The Charlotte History Museum, also on this site, is a great place to learn about this city’s past. The area is also home to the N.S. ALEXANDER HOMESTEAD. The home is one of the few remaining examples of Queen Anne Victorian architecture in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area and is listed in the Department of the Interior’s Register of Historic Places. Winner of Historic Charlotte’s Preservation Award, the home was restored to its original glory in 2008 and operates as a luxury bed & breakfast.
East Charlotte was once a suburban area, so it is crisscrossed by large roads. This makes auto transit the easiest way to explore the district. Major thoroughfares include Independence Blvd., Eastway Dr., Sharon Amity Rd., and Shamrock Dr.
The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS)  serves the East Side with numerous bus lines, including Route #39 along Eastway, #29 along Sharon Amity, #9 and #17 along Central Ave., and #23 along Shamrock.