Atrium Health's new innovation district to be called 'the Pearl'

The new innovation district in Charlotte, N.C., has been named "the Pearl" by leaders from Atrium Health and Wexford Science & Technology.

The site of the Pearl will be home to Atrium Health's future medical school, Wake Forest University School of Medicine Charlotte, according to the March 3 news release

It is named after Pearl Street Park, the first African American park in Charlotte and the only remaining landmark of the once-thriving African American community formerly known as Brooklyn, which was displaced and largely destroyed in the 1950s and '60s.

"We're here now to begin a new chapter to this story and honor this special place as we empower the neighborhoods around it, which are shaped by diverse people and perspectives, rooted in inclusivity and belonging, and filled with endless potential," Eugene Woods, president and CEO of Atrium Health, said in the release. "I'm pleased to share that Charlotte's new innovation district, 'The Pearl,' will be a place where Charlotte's historic vitality meets its innovative future."

The district is expected to create more than 5,500 jobs on-site and more than 11,500 jobs in total in the Charlotte community over the next 15 years. The development will feature education, retail, apartments, a hotel and open community spaces as well as serving as an entrepreneurial hub with research and development activity.

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