Friday, February 1, 2008

Cornelius Planning Board Approves Rezoning For The Village At Lake Norman, Town Board Is Next

Cornelius Planning Board Approves Rezoning
For The Village At Lake Norman, Town Board Is Next
For Immediate Release Feb. 1, 2008

The Town of Cornelius, NC, Planning Board has approved a detailed
Development Agreement allowing rezoning of a 104-acre site on the south
side of the town for development of the project known as The Village At
Lake Norman.
Unanimous approval came in a special called meeting of the Planning
Board Friday afternoon, Feb. 1. The plans must now be approved by the
Cornelius Town Board, which has scheduled its first meeting to review
the project, the largest in Cornelius's history, at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb.
4 in Town Hall.
Plans call for the $500 million project to include a mix of retail,
restaurants, office, condominiums, hotels, parks, a large Village
Green, developed by Cornelius Bromont, LLC, a partnership of Bromont of
Scottsdale AZ and Carlsen Douglas Development of Huntersville, NC. Part
of the plans yet to be approved by the Town Board as well as county,
state and federal authorities, calls for using a portion of the new
property taxes generated by the Village At Lake Norman to make major
transportation improvements.
Those improvements would include widening of I-77 to three lanes in
each direction, from south of Exit 23 to Exit 28, and a fourth lane as
needed between Exit 25 to Exit 28. A new Exit 27 would be built at I-77
and Westmoreland Road. A new east-west bridge would carry the realigned
Bailey Road over I-77, paving the way for future development on the
other side of the interstate. Statesville Road/Highway 21 would be
widened to four lanes including a landscaped median and turn lanes
where needed. Turn lanes would be added and signal timing improved in
numerous locations.
"We are very pleased that the Planning Board has approved our project,
which we believe will be of tremendous benefit to the people of
Cornelius and the surrounding community," said Walt Rector, president
of Bromont, the lead developer. "We appreciate the exceptional amount
of time these volunteer citizens and Town staff devoted to reviewing
and analyzing our project. We sincerely hope that the Town Board will
give our rezoning request and financing agreement approval in the near
future, as we have some significant tenants interested in this project
if it moves ahead quickly."
Parker Black, chairman of the Planning Board, said after the meeting
that, "Right from the beginning, the feeling of the Board was that it
was too large. But when we looked at the transportation problems that
hopefully it will solve – widening of I-77, 21 and Westmoreland Road –
moving the widened lanes right up to Catawba Avenue (the main east-west
thoroughfare through Cornelius), the benefits of those improvements
will be tremendous. The State is not contributing anything in the
foreseeable future. This project will bring these road improvements to
the front in the next three to four years, instead of 2030. I see more
public-private partnerships like this in the future."
Rector said he hopes the project can begin instruction in late 2009
and will probably not be ready for occupancy of phase 1 until 2012.
Under terms of the Development Agreement drafted by the developers and
the Planning Department:
-The developer will voluntarily annex the entire tract into the Town
of Cornelius
-Public access will be provided to all parks and greenways
-Approval must be received from all relevant government agencies for
the developer to undertake the interstate, highway and other
transportation improvements on public property
-Buildings will be designed and constructed "substantially in
accordance with the elevations" submitted by the architects for the
-The site will include extensive landscaping, which has been described
by the developer as "resort style"
-When construction of the first phase of the project begins, the
developer will "make available up to a total of $500,000 in matching
funds for any funds expended by the Town of Cornelius on a civic
building, programming space for town park functions (i.e., art gallery,
studio)," or other Town uses.
-The developer will also purchase "fire apparatus for the Cornelius
Fire Department to serve the site, not to exceed a total cost of
-The developer will provide space for a fire station and a police
substation to serve the site and community
-The developer will provide parking for bicycles, transit stops for
buses, extensive sidewalks, and other non-automobile transportation
Developers estimate that the project will create more than 4,500 new
jobs and over $300 million a year in positive economic impact.
(Media contact: Buck Lawrimore, 704-332-4344,