The sleepy farming community of Matthews began to change after World War II, affected by the sprawl of Charlotte’s real estate boom and residential growth into the countryside. The Interstate 485 outer beltway that connected Matthew directly with Interstates 77 and 85 as well as to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport greatly accelerating the area’s development. Subdivisions and housing developments, businesses, a leading hospital, and several large corporations settled in Matthews. As it enters the 21st century, Matthews is recognized as one of the region’s most affluent and desirable communities. At the same time, a quaint and small-town atmosphere still prevails in the downtown district with its charming antique shops. Along the Highway 74 corridor, Matthews residents can find all the goods and services they need close to home. Strip malls, spacious shopping centers, and fine or casual dining establishments thrive in this bustling commercial center.