Can Charlotte Overtake Atlanta as Powerhouse of the South?

Atlanta is seen by many as the economic powerhouse of the South. But some say Charlotte's progress in providing transit and reducing traffic may begin to tip the scales.
May 13, 2009, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Charlotte, the Queen City, maintains pretensions of one day surpassing Atlanta as economic King of the South. Sam Williams, head of Atlanta's Chamber of Commerce, says dream on.

'We don't really compete tooth-and-nail with Charlotte because the companies we go after (are) in the international trade, logistics and biomedical fields and they're not looking to go to Charlotte,' he said. 'Dallas, Tampa and northern Virginia - those are our consistent competitors.'

But some observers say recent missteps by Atlanta - over traffic, transit, water, the environment and politics - may enhance Charlotte's position.

Nothing underscores Atlanta's angst like the state legislature's refusal last month to let the region decide its transportation fate. A traffic-choked Atlanta threatens to repel businesses and individuals. Growth could slow to a crawl."

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Published on Monday, May 11, 2009 in Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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