When one thinks of Cornelius NC images of gracious homes in The Peninsula and along the Lake Norman waterfront, upscale shops and services and a casual lifestyle come to mind. But, there is a giant coming to town!
Controversial since it’s inception, The Village at Lake Norman got approval for a conditional-use permit by the Cornelius commissions back on April 24th by a slim vote of 3-2 after years of meetings with the town staff, planning board and community residents. In May, Cornelius Bromont LLC announced it had completed the purchase of 104 acres in Cornelius for the future site of the Village at Lake Norman, the largest real estate development in the community’s history. (Not unlike Langtree at the Lake in Mooresville).
So exactly what is The Village at Lake Norman?
- A 104-acre “high quality” mixed-use real estate development located on the southwest corner of U.S. 21 and Westmoreland Road. (“A true live-work-play environment”).
- This 2.2 million square foot center includes 655,000 square feet of “high quality retail/restaurant space”, 800,000 square feet of Class A corporate offices, two hotels (one convention style) and 400 luxury condominium homes build above the retail and restaurants in two mixed-use buildings facing each other across a Village Green.
- The developers envision “The Green” hosting public events like live music, movies, farmers markets, community art shows, outdoor dining, casual strolling and relaxing.
- A place where you can own a lovely condominium for which you can walk to just about everything you might need include work!
Personally, I am envisoning a Birkdale Village on steroids!
But, The Village at Lake Norman is not just about the actual real estate development. In order to gain zoning approval by the Cornelius commissioners there are some impressive conditions that will impact all of us living along Interstate 77 on the east shores of Lake Norman.
The most important by far is the widening of the I-77 from two lanes in each direction to three with “a fourth lane if needed” from south of Exit 23 all the way to Exit 28. Another great requirement is creating a new Exit 27 at Westmoreland Road which should ease traffic at the already congested Exit 28. Other improvements include widening US 21/Statesville Road, the straightening of Bailey Road and connecting it to US 21 and a bridge over the I-77.
The rezoning is conditioned upon the Town of Cornelius and Mecklenburg County’s receipt of N.C. Department of Transportation funds and completion of all road projects by Dec. 31, 2012. No buildings can open, except Phase 0, unless the roadwork is complete. Overall completion is expected in 6-12 years depending on the housing market and overall economy.
The greatest concern of members of the Cornelius community right now seems to be the actual retail tenants as the promise was for “upscale” yet so far the builder has indicated, while no leases can be signed yet, they expect a “high end Target” (isn’t that an oxymoron?) and a Best Buy. Buck Lawrimore, spokesman for the developer Bromont Investments, told the Charlotte Observer that they are “also seeking a Saks Fifth Avenue and other quality retailers.
To learn more about the project you can go to Bromont’s website. They are also encouraging feedback!
LEARN ABOUT LAKE NORMAN’S OTHER LIVE/WORK URBAN VILLAGES: