Thanks for taking our survey; we heard you!

Jul 12, 2016 | Press Release

checkboxwebOur recent invitation to take a brief survey about University City Partners drew more than 100 participants and many useful responses. ”The survey was like a pulse check to make sure that what we are hearing in our meetings also represents the opinions of all of the folks who benefit from our services,” says UCP Executive Director Darlene Heater.


What the heck are UCP and MSD?

University City Partners (UCP) is a nonprofit group that oversees a state-chartered, property-tax supported municipal service district (MSD) in the University City portion of Charlotte that encompasses University Research Park, University Place, UNC Charlotte and the nearby office, retail and multifamily neighborhoods.

North Carolina has several dozen such districts, each created to promote a particular business district, ranging from downtown Waynesville to Charlotte’s Center City. Charlotte City Council chooses and oversees the nonprofit groups that manage our city’s two MSDs.

The University City Partners staff of three, including Heater, takes its direction from a Board of Directors representing major University City businesses and property owners, plus government elected officials.


Who took the survey, and what did they say?

University City Partners sent invitations to take the survey to everyone who receives our twice-monthly e-newsletter, plus key communicators, property owners within the University City Municipal Service District, University City residents who belong to the social media network and people who visit

The on-line survey asked respondents to rate University City Partners in such areas as support of business growth, marketing, responsiveness to business needs and communication of community activities. The survey also attempted to determine which activities are most important to our community.

The big hot button – supporting business growth and development – was ranked extremely important or very important by 113 out of 114 people who answered the survey. On the other hand, helping improve schools and build partnerships between schools and businesses scored high among about 60% of people taking the survey.


Survey takeaways

Heater said that the survey shows that, “overwhelmingly, folks recognize the work that we do and that we are working on the things that are most important for growth and vitality of University City.” Ironically, the survey responses also indicate “that we need to do a better job of keeping the community informed on the work that we are doing,” Heater added.

“A lot of the comments that people made (about projects they want UCP to take on) were about things we are working on that we are not letting people know about” – such as erecting signage to brand and identify University Research Park.


Behind-the-scenes work

The other challenge is helping our community understand that some of our work, by necessity, cannot be shared, such as when a major business seeks help finding a new location in Charlotte and other cities.

“A lot of the work that we do is behind the scenes, and we’ve become accustomed to doing things behind the scenes,” Heater said. “We sometimes forget that we have a public that needs to be informed about the work we are doing to build a better University City.”


Expect more communication

The survey results have been shared with UCP’s Board of Directors and Charlotte City Council and are now available to the general public on The survey’s results already have convinced Heater that “it is important to continue to reach out to the community about issues and priorities that maintain and grow the vitality of University City.

“This is not a one-and-done. We will continue to reach into the community to get input on the work that we are doing.”


View the survey, and tell us what you think

Our executive director, Darlene Heater, welcomes your thoughts and ideas.


Receive Up to Date News

Receive Economic Development News

View Past Newsletters

View Post by Category

Press Releases

Meet our new intern, Haley Chilcott

Haley Chilcott is our new Marketing Communications Intern here at University City Partners. Haley is an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is majoring in Communications, with a concentration in Public Relations. After graduation...

University City Partners welcomes our newest board members

  University City Partners welcomes its newest members of the UCP Board of Directors: Charlotte City Manager Marcus Smith and Michael Fung, a regional leader for Wells Fargo's Corporate Properties Group. The University City Partners Board of Directors consists of...

Response to tragic police incident and unrest

Last night our community was at the center of a tragic police incident followed by several hours of demonstration, aggressive agitation and unrest. Our neighborhoods, businesses, retail centers and institutions were impacted with activity that has left us all feeling...

Introducing our UNC Charlotte interns

University City Partners is proud to introduce our "Class of 2016" - our fall semester interns from UNC Charlotte. Seniors Hollis Maye-Keye and Cagney Reeves will help us with communications and planning - key functions for our success. We encourage you to consider...

UCP video report: Planning for our transit-powered future

University City Partners has launched a new feature - a monthly video report on how we are investing time and resources to build University City. Today's report: UCP is leading a planning effort to make the area around the future JW Clay Transit station a more...

Our 2016 Annual Report chronicles a landmark year

The dramatic changes taking place across University City can be hard to keep up with - unless you have the University City Partners annual report. Our brand new 2016 University City Partners Annual Report chronicles these changes over the past year (July 2015-June...

University City Partners welcomes new board members

University City Partners welcomes four new members to its board of directors, including two UNC Charlotte grads. Tracy Dodson with Lincoln Harris, John McAlister with Electrolux, Phil Nicholenko with TIAA and Jane Wu, founder of Carolina States Regional Center, have...

University City Partners adds planning & development director

Tobe Holmes has joined University City Partners as its planning and development director. Holmes, formerly with Center City Partners, will oversee all UCP planning and development initiatives. At Center City Partners, Holmes managed economic and community development...

Meet our UNC Charlotte interns

One benefit of having UNC Charlotte nearby is the amazing wealth of student interns. We landed three of the best this semester: Meredith Avant (Communications with PR concentration), Miguel Avila (Economics with innovation focus), and Charles Trowell (Architecture...

UCP Annual Report: Mobilizing the New Urban Center

2015 has been exceptional for University City and University City Partners, as our fresh-off-the-digital presses “2015 Annual Report” makes clear with exclamation marks! The report chronicles the opening of I-485, rapid progress on the LYNX light-rail line, strong...