Destination Queen City: New York Natives Embrace Charlotte as Their New Home

By Michelle Keaton-Barrow

Anthony and Jackie Mitchell relax at home.

Anthony and Jackie Mitchell have enjoyed 21 blissful years of marriage. Anthony is a retired New York law enforcement officer who received many accolades and awards, including his appointment as the honorary deputy police commissioner of the Mount Vernon (N.Y.) Police Department. Jackie started her career at Allstate Insurance Company when she graduated from college. She has been a manager for 19 years. Charlotte has always been on the short list of places for Anthony and Jackie to eventually reside. John’s father has family members that have resided in North Carolina for more than 200 years. Once Jackie found out about an opening in North Carolina, she successfully interviewed and was offered the position of manager for the special investigations unit.

Family members have been attracted to Charlotte for several reasons. They love the weather, the people, the overall landscape and the perfect mix of city and country. Charlotte is near Lake Norman and Lake Wylie, and is a short ride to the mountains. Being able to attend both Hornets and Panther games added interest. Other highlights, such as the Knights baseball outings and NASCAR events, added diversity to the mix. Arts and cultural activities and venues are also very important. The Gantt center is a prime example.

Outside patio.

The Mitchells have four children, so they also had input on the decision to relocate. Oldest son Anthony is a firefighter in New York. Second-oldest child, Tsekou, was already teaching in Charlotte. Rising high school senior Nycole has been researching historically Black colleges and universities in North Carolina, and decided on Winston-Salem State University. With Jackie’s management, she is also pursuing a modeling career. Youngest son Mychael is an athlete and a scholar with an interest in becoming an architect. The entire family decided that a move to Charlotte would be a wonderful decision.

Now came the logistics of finding the perfect home to fit everyone’s criteria. Relocation specialist Michelle Keaton-Barrow with Keaton Barrow Realty provided lots of expert advice. This time around, the Mitchells wanted something unique and different. A home that would offer solitude, as well as have a floor plan that would be great for entertaining. After looking at several homes in different neighborhoods, Anthony picked out a beautiful three-story home in a fantastic area, and Jackie sealed the deal when she fell in love with the in-ground pool. Research proved that the middle and high schools would be a perfect fit for the children. Being located near a YMCA and having immediate access to Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball teams was an added perk.

Prior to closing, Keaton-Barrow suggested that they contact award-winning interior decorator Carnela Hill with CR Hill Design Group. Keaton-Barrow was impressed by Hill’s accomplishments, including being on the holiday decorating team at the White House under the Obama administration. Hill incorporated some of the items that the Mitchells already owned and loved from New York, along with new purchases. Colors were chosen that flow together to create a harmonic, warm feel. Anthony’s favorite rooms are his office, where he actively works on his first book, “Black Man Blue Uniform,” and the family room, where the family gathers to have fun and hang out. Jackie’s favorite spots are the game room, where everyone participates in activities, and the pool, because it offers a place to exercise and enjoy the outside. Jackie is a certified holistic health counselor, so she makes sure that the entire family stays balanced, with activities both inside and outside of the home.

Bold colors such as red, purple and orange were used to create a “wow” factor throughout the home. Anthony is a lifetime member of Omega Psi Phi and Jackie is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, so the organizations’ colors of red and white and purple and gold were included.

Peace and serenity surround everyone when they are sitting on the screened porch. The deck and the pool are automatic destinations for entertainment and good times. The home features multiple custom features, such as trey and vaulted ceilings. Windows throughout the home offer an abundance of natural light. The stacked stone fireplace is striking and makes the great room both cozy and inviting. The Mitchells have now settled in and are looking forward to enjoying all the wonderful things that Charlotte has to offer.