rjp212

Lake Norman Urbanization and Projects

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While this development may compound traffic problems in the overall area if approved, at least it will be built with pedestrians and connectivity in mind. The end result will probably be heads and shoulders above Metropolitan in the urban sense and this place will be in the suburbs. How funny.

Could you please elaborate on the design features of this project that make it pedestrian friendly and connected to its surroundings?

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This is a disaster- we need new developments like this one to be connected to public transit (i.e., the north rail line), not on the other side of I-77.

Hopefully Taubman will do everything possible to block it (and the death of its mall).

If the developer has signed desirable department stores, why wouldn't he name them? Maybe the small Mooresville Belk's is moving down to the new center; that would certainly limit people's expectations of the new center.

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I highly doubt this though it's just a thought that crossed into my mind, what if Charlotte is ready for duplication of high end stores that currently exist at the likes of SouthPark? (I know the metro population has to be way higher)

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Could you please elaborate on the design features of this project that make it pedestrian friendly and connected to its surroundings?

They have not said exactly where this will be located, but Upper McDowell Creek Greenway, which is under construction will pass right by there. This Greenway when finished will also connect to Birkdale Village, Birkdale, most of W. Huntersville and end up at Rosedale at exit 23. It will allow for pedestrian access all that distance either by walking or biking. It resembles what is being done around Sugar Creek road Charlotte. Certainly better than NorthLake.

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I highly doubt this though it's just a thought that crossed into my mind, what if Charlotte is ready for duplication of high end stores that currently exist at the likes of SouthPark? (I know the metro population has to be way higher)

Hmm. In my opinion, we aren't quite ready for duplication of stores like Nordstrom. But keep in mind, that if that does happen, then uptown retail of the likes chances goes down a lot.

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I don't understand the thinking behind that. The mall is already dying and competition for its affluent base of customers isn't going to help it much.

True, but Gaston, as well as NW Meck, is about to explode with growth. This growth in population will help offset losses to this new development. I'm sure NL will lose some customer base and some stores will move, but I think in the long run NorthLake will do just fine.

When people say the mall is dying, what is their basis for this thinking? Is it empty, are stores leaving? 485 isn't even opened yet up there, and Gaston is the next county in the Charlotte metro region to experience explosive growth. I know south Charlotte is much more populous and has a higher average income, but we have SouthPark, the Arbo, Promenade, Ballantyne, and many other shopping centers. These places easily survive with little competition from each other, so I think in a few years NW Meck will have no problem with the amount of space being put in, granted they experience great population growth.

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When people say the mall is dying, what is their basis for this thinking? Is it empty, are stores leaving? 485 isn't even opened yet up there, and Gaston is the next county in the Charlotte metro region to experience explosive growth. .....

Yes it has empty sections and numerous stores have left. You can read about them in the NL thread. 485 through there wont even begin construction until 2013 and this mall is a relatively long way away from Gaston county. Those people are more likely to shop at malls in Gaston or go to Southpark themselves rather than to make the log drive to exit 18. I am not ready to predict the death of Northlake yet, but considering a developer believes he can tap into the Lake Norman market with a massive new upscale Birkdale Village type project , there is obviously a need not being met by that mall. I pretty much said from the beginning that it was a mistake for them to have approved NorthLake for a lot of reasons, yet some here predicted that it would kill the retail in Huntersville and beyond, and now it seems the opposite is happening.

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carolina place had some closings and growth pains when it first opened, too. I was pretty young at the time, but remember the empty parking lots and people questioning if it would survive. Same situation as Northlake, new growth area along the beltline. I think it is far premature to be predicting the death of Northlake. It might happen, but it takes longer than 2 or 3 years. are there any case studies of this happening elsewhere? I would be interested in hearing what UNCC's retail expert in the geography dept has to say about this. Dennis Lord is his name, i believe. If he's still there that is.

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While I can understand the questions about the vast amount of retail space present in this new development, I cannot help but feel a bit of a contradictory tone toward the development in general.

Please allow me to elaborate. Charlotte is growing and all the new people and business will have to go somewhere. Unfortunately the development between uptown and 485 is some of the lowest density, worst planned imaginable. How then can a new development along the lines of Birkdale be viewed with fear or disdain? It could just as easily be constructed as a "llifestyle center" of tons of little, single-story strip malls with arterial roads and parking placed between them and monotonous, repetitive apartment complexes lined along one side. If we are going to experience growth at the fringes, is not this density and design better than what we have been doing (and what many metro areas continue to do)?

I understand people's traffic concerns on I-77. Nobody likes to commute in what is essentially a parking lot. However, congestion is a natural symptom of growth and prosperity. And, if it gets beyond several peoples' tipping points, behavior and attitudes will begin to change. Demand for the express busses will grow as will demand for the proposed north corridor rail line. Even if medium density developments are not near a transit stop, they can easily be linked by connecting bus routes. Imagine a circulator connecting a downtown Huntersville station, Birkdale, and this proposed development. If service were available every 15 minutes during peak demand, many commuting demands could be met.

I am not asking for opinions to change. Rather, I am asking "It sure could be a lot worse, couldn't it?"

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^ yes it could be worse. but, IMO - it's only slightly better than the crap we're comparing it to. this area is absolutely besieged by traffic already... this open air mall will only add to that. while these new centers are an improvement over their predecessors - they still fail to address enviromental issues such as water run-off, solar power, recycled material usage... to name a few. i know this may seem like a tall order, but, i wish there were some responsible, conscientious developers ready to fill that order... especially in an area that is growing so fast. not only would it be right for the area, i think if executed correctly, it could even benefit the developers bottom line... especially in the long run.

i would have liked to have seen this obscenely bloated project, reduced in size and placed on the rail line. by incorporating something like this with either the old town center of cornelius or huntersville - would have added better quality density as well as make use of historic development (which we still have much to learn from, IMO).

my point is - there is much more to be done. if not, this area will end up being just as sprawled and redundent as any other bad example of development we've seen.

this is a wonderful area of the charlotte metro that has many possibilities and plenty of things worthy of preservation... IMO, this project ultimately chips away at those possibilities.

Edited by cinco

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Why are they going to build it so far away from the rail line? That does not make good sense when trying to promote transit. If they build it that far away that would almost kill any opportunity to build that amount of retail closer to the rail line.

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Why are they going to build it so far away from the rail line? That does not make good sense when trying to promote transit. If they build it that far away that would almost kill any opportunity to build that amount of retail closer to the rail line.

There is already a project to build retail, residential and office space around the Cornelius train station. It's been discussed in the North Commuter Rail line thread. The town intends for the station to be the centerpiece of that mixed used development and is planning to put it's own money into making the station the center of activity for the town.

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There is already a project to build retail, residential and office space around the Cornelius train station. It's been discussed in the North Commuter Rail line thread. The town intends for the station to be the centerpiece of that mixed used development and is planning to put it's own money into making the station the center of activity for the town.

that sounds excellent... are there any renderings, siteplans for this? or is it still too early? smart development that is not concentrated on I-77 should be encouraged... even better to build near the rail if you can.

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Well with 900k of shopping at this development, it will be hard to compete. That's like adding Stonecrest and the Arbo in south Charlotte together. Or 2x University Place. That's just a TON of retail space in one area.

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Well with 900k of shopping at this development, it will be hard to compete. That's like adding Stonecrest and the Arbo in south Charlotte together. Or 2x University Place. That's just a TON of retail space in one area.

Yeah I bet the project will eventually have to be scaled back some. If you guys recall, when Northlake was originally proposed people thought it would be the largest mall in NC at 1.7-1.8 million square feet and it included an outdoor portion modeled after Southpoint, and now it's only 1.1 million square feet.

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There is much more extensive coverage of this project in the local Huntersville paper today. I will summarize some of the points:

  • Proposed name is Village at Lake Norman
  • The primary developer for the property is Carlsen-Douglas based in Huntersville. They are working in partnership with a Arizona company because of their experience with building large projects.
  • The paper says the retail space will be just slightly less than what is online now at NorthLake. (presumably they are subtracting out the non-leased parts)
  • The developer claims to be creating a destination. "This is going to put Cornelius on the map." says Chris Carlsen the developer.
  • On the other hand the Cornelius councilman said the excitement is putting the cart before the horse. The project is asking for a TIF so there won't be any approvals from Cornelius without the required due diligence
  • The project plan calls for them to 4 lane Westmoreland and convert it from a country road into a city street. Presumably they will be required to add sidewalks and the other items now required in the lake area communities.
  • The developer says this is part of a national trend towards building mixed use open-air retail/residential space rather than the old school enclosed mall like NorthLake and SouthPark. This will be the largest such development at this point in Mecklenburg county and maybe the state as well.
  • They are hoping to attract empty nesters and couples without children to the residential aspect of this project. The units will be geared with that in mind.
  • Carlsen said the retailers will be "very high-end"
  • The project has been in design phase for 18 months and involves a number of local designers and architects.

An interesting anecdote to this is that Joe Gibbs, of Joe Gibbs Racing provided the largest parcel of land for this project.

IMO if this project is built, it is going to have a dramatic effect on the retail situation in the entire metro area.

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^ other than sidewalks and more lanes for more cars... i don't see how this project plans to help deal with the strain on infrastructure other than through taxes. if i recall, cornelius was recently talking of a moratorium on new development... b/c they were concerned about the lack of infrastructure.

judging from what i've read it seems to me they are only conerned with building this "style" of mall b/c it's the trend - not b/c they feel strongly about it in terms of connectivity and density... not to mention sustainability. they admit - they want it to be a destination... isn't that what every exit on I-77 north is becoming?

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Somehow I find it unlikely that he will draw high-end retailers, like ones on the level of SP. I mean, SP just got those retailers, and I don't think the Charlotte metro is big enough yet to support double of what they have at SP.

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I look forward to finding out what the developer's idea of "high end" is. Good or bad, SouthPark retailers are located in SP for a very big reason: each other. Upper end retailers cluster together because of the synergies of being in one location. It's also worth noting that Simon has relationships with them all. Charlotte is not a large enough market for more than one Tiffany, St John, Burberry, NM, Nordstrom, Bob Ellis, Cole Haan, Ralph Lauren, etc. While this project, if it ever gets off the ground, might attract mid-scale retailers, it is doubtful that a second "branch" of any of the stores currently in SouthPark will locate there.

It's also worth noting that the largest shopping center Bromont currently owns/manages is a 244,000 square foot center in Irving, TX. Anchors are Best Buy, Ross, PetSmart and Mardell's. It will be interesting to see how they develop relationships with "high-end" retailers and bring them to the region.

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well this might be the first true competition to rival southpark

I agree this may be the case. Southpark is very difficult to get to and this place won't have as much of a problem being located right of I-77. If the activity at Birkdale Village is any indication, this place is going to be packed with people.

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It's also worth noting that the largest shopping center Bromont currently owns/manages is a 244,000 square foot center in Irving, TX. Anchors are Best Buy, Ross, PetSmart and Mardell's. It will be interesting to see how they develop relationships with "high-end" retailers and bring them to the region.
According to the newspaper article, Bromard is in it for its expertise in building and managing a project as big as this. This was mentioned above in the summary I just posted. The retailers you mention are just down at North Cross (exit 25) so it's unlikely they are going after this bunch.

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Just got off the phone with a friend in Davidson town gov't. Seems they think there'll be no opposition from anyone on the Cornelius Town Council. I'm glad that NC 16 will be finished by the time this opens. That way I can avoid 77 at all costs.

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I agree this may be the case. Southpark is very difficult to get to and this place won't have as much of a problem being located right of I-77.

I find SP very easy to get to.

Go 77S, exit off Tyvola, hang a left and keep straight. In five to seven minutes you will be at SP.

That is not really a difficult task. It is really so easy that perhaps a caveman could do it. (You know I had too throw that in :lol: )

A2

Edited by A2

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