Photo: University City Partners President & CEO Keith Stanley. (Amanda Harry/QCity Metro)

“It’s been quite a ride.”

That’s how the newly appointed president and CEO of University City Partners described his experience thus far in his new role. 

Just one month after starting the position, Stanley sat down with QCity Metro to share what he’s come to know and appreciate most about the University Area. 

Originally from Milwaukee, Wis., Stanley said he was drawn to the area because of the investment in public transportation, like the LYNX Blue Line and the area’s greenways. 

So far, Stanley’s work has mainly consisted of connecting with stakeholders in the University area such as UNC Charlotte students and employees, business owners and churches. 

“It’s a wide variety of people that are part of the constituency because we want to make sure everyone feels comfortable,” Stanley said of the community members he connected with.

Stanley said he is still in the “learning phase” as a newbie to the area, but he already has a few places he enjoys frequenting.

“When I get a chance to take a break, I love walking around the lake,” Stanley said. He was previously the executive director of Near West Side Partners, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wis., where he was responsible for revitalization, community cohesion and neighborhood sustainability efforts. 

He hopes to bring his 20 years of experience to help University “step forward.” Stanley starts his role amid rapid growth in the University area.

In 2021 Charlotte Observer reported that University City is the second largest employment area behind Uptown and continues to see growth. 

As that growth continues, key areas of focus for Stanley include affordable housing, for renters and buyers alike. 

Amanda was born and raised in Charlotte and graduated from UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor’s in Communications and English. She covers Mecklenburg County. Reach her at

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