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Pineville (; locally ) is a suburban town in the southernmost portion of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina situated in the Waxhaws district between Charlotte, North Carolina and Fort Mill, South Carolina.
Pineville was changed forever when the initial segment of Interstate 485 opened to traffic. Although the one-mile (1.6 km) stretch connecting interchanges at NC Highway 51 and South Boulevard was designed to divert through traffic around Charlotte via a freeway loop, I-485 incidentally passed directly through Pineville.
In the years to follow, largely undeveloped land adjacent to Pineville's two I-485 interchanges exploded into what is now the largest shopping district in North Carolina. With nearly 8,000,000 square feet (743,000 m2) of retail space, Pineville is home to the 1,100,000-square-foot (100,000 m2) Carolina Place Mall, at least two power centres and many strip malls, outparcels and free-standing retailers.
Pineville has, historically, been a textbook example of urban sprawl. Because its growth was largely motivated by the introduction of a freeway to the area, the Pineville shopping district generally requires a motor vehicle for access. Despite 8,000,000 square feet (743,000 m2) of new retail space, the population of Pineville in 2000 (3,449), was barely greater than it was in 1990 (2,970). This was partly a consequence of Pineville's geographic location. Sandwiched between Charlotte and the South Carolina state line, Pineville cannot expand its municipal boundaries. Substantial undeveloped land available prior to the introduction of I-485, was rapidly purchased by developers and approved for retail use nearly without exception, quickly sealing Pineville's fate as a place that is known to many but home to few. This is an example of the criticism that sprawl causes excessive single-use zoning. The 2010 census, however, gave Pineville a population of 7,479—more than double the population it had in 2000—so the trend seems to be reversing.
It is the birthplace of James K. Polk, the 11th U.S. president. His home is no longer standing, but an original cabin from that time period is kept there, symbolic of the one he was born in. This is now a state historic site. It has two reconstructed log cabins, both from the local area being built c. 1790. They are furnished in period antiques similar to what the Polks would have used. There is a main house, a cookhouse, and a log barn, and tours are available by costumed guides. Ladybird Johnson (at that time the First Lady of the U.S.A.) came to Pineville to dedicate the new state site. In addition to the period log houses there is a museum with a short film on the life and times of James Knox Polk along with period clothes and other artifacts of the area and era. A monument was erected in 1904 on the site of the present-day reconstructed cabins. The state of North Carolina moved the monument from its original location in 1964. It was moved to its current location near the visitor center in 1968.
Pineville became known as a mule trading center during the time of the Charlotte 'gold rush'. At that time 'Pineville' was called 'Morrow's Turnout'. Located at the intersection of two major Indian trading routes, it had vast meadows in which the animals of trade and transportation could be 'turned-out' to pasture.
In 1852 the Charlotte & Columbia Railroad came through Pineville, the town's first step into the 'modern world'. The railroad wanted a more modern name, and the large stands of pine trees in the area inspired the new name Pineville. Pineville was incorporated in 1873. In the 1890s Dover Yarn Mills established a cotton mill in Pineville. This mill later became Cone Mills, Inc., which operated in the town until the late 1970s. The one-block area of old Pineville was a bustling commercial area, with many different shops typical of any small town. Today this area is home to many quaint shops and restaurants.
Pineville is located at 35°5′09″N 80°53′17″W (35.085737, -80.888167).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2), all of it land.
As of the 2010 census, the town's population is 7,479.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,449 people, 1,632 households, and 744 families residing in the town. The population density was 965.8 people per square mile (373.0/km²). There were 1,760 housing units at an average density of 492.8 per square mile (190.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 80.05% White, 10.00% African American, 0.20% Native American, 3.31% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 4.00% from other races, and 2.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.16% of the population.
There were 1,632 households, out of which 19.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.1% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 54.4% were non-families. 42.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04 and the average family size was 2.80.
The age range of Pineville's population is 17.5% under the age of 18, 13.0% from 18 to 24, 42.2% from 25 to 44, 16.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $38,261, and the median income for a family was $45,500. Males had a median income of $30,833 versus $29,508 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,958. About 3.6% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.7% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.
Pineville is served by Carolinas HealthCare System Pineville, a 206-bed acute care facility opened in 1987, a member of Atrium Health.
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