Thursday, April 24, 2008

Town of Cornelius Approves Rezoning For The Village at Lake Norman

Town of Cornelius Approves Rezoning For The Village at Lake Norman
For Immediate Release 4/24/08

CORNELIUS, NC – The Cornelius Town Board Wednesday night (April 23)
approved detailed plans for the $516-million Village at Lake Norman,
the largest real estate development in the community's history.
The 104-acre project would include 1.4 million square feet of Class A
office, restaurants and retail, along with two hotels and 400 luxury
condominium residences. The project will be built over a
six-to-12-year period depending on market demand. It will be located at
a new Exit 27 to be constructed by the developer at Westmoreland Road
and I-77.
The decision followed a series of seven Town Board meetings, often
running to almost midnight, to hear evidence from various experts and
citizen viewpoints.
"We are very pleased that we have at last been granted this crucial
approval from the Town of Cornelius to help bring a truly great vision
for this region to reality," said Josh Rector, project manager and
Senior Vice President for the developer, Cornelius Bromont, LLC. "This
comes after two years of meetings with Town staff, the planning board,
and many community residents to help shape our project into a virtually
ideal solution for all concerned. We also hired and invested
substantially in the intensive work of a design team including leading
architecture, land planning and transportation engineering firms in the
region. We deeply appreciate all the time and extra effort which all
these great people have contributed to making this project a landmark
"We still have quite a few hurdles to cross," Rector added, "including
approvals from Mecklenburg County, Metropolitan Planning Organization,
North Carolina Department of Transportation, Federal Highway
Administration and others. But the rezoning and approval by the Town is
the most important initial step in this process."
Cornelius Mayor Jeff Tarte said the project "is going to address the
top four strategic priorities agreed on by the Town Board, the Planning
Board, staff and others:
• "It will create a vehicle to address our traffic problems using NCDOT
• "It will widen I-77, which has the most congestion and use in our
• "It expands our tax base so we have more commercial property
generating taxes."
• "And fourth – the 'magic ingredient' – it will not increase our tax
"Look at what the town of Lenoir gave to Google to get a handful of
jobs," Tarte added. "We're getting 4500 jobs and the developer is
generating the money to make it all possible."
In addition to building a large commercial project that will generate
millions of dollars of new tax revenues for the Town and County,
developers have promised to also provide:
• $35.2 million for widening I-77 to three lanes in each direction,
from south of Exit 23 in Huntersville, all the way to Exit 28, the
current Cornelius exit
• $54.8 million for widening US Highway 21 and Westmoreland Road to
four lanes plus a landscaped median/turn lane for several miles; and
numerous other roadway, intersection and traffic signal improvements.
• Investing approximately $10 million to purchase several parcels east
of US Highway 21 that would allow realigning Bailey Road to "straighten
out the curve" as the Town has long desired. Bailey Road would then
cross the Village property, then cross over I-77 via a new Bailey Road
flyover bridge also provided by the developer.
• Acquiring land on the western end of the new bridge and building a
roadway to link with the western side of Westmoreland Road via Eagle
Ridge Way Lane. Both Bailey Road extensions would provide improved
east-west connectivity in southern Cornelius on both sides of I-77.
• Donating approximately two acres of land along the new eastern side
of Bailey Road for a new fire station, and an additional contribution
to Habitat for Humanity.
• Paying for design and engineering fees for the new fire station.
• Giving the town $1.3 million to purchase new fire equipment or any
other items it needs to offset increased costs of serving the new
• Including a police substation within the Village.
• Grading and seeding four baseball fields at the Westmoreland Athletic
• Public park areas, amphitheater, Village Green and other amenities.
The financing for most of the roadway improvements would come from a
combination of a Synthetic TIF (tax increment financing) and
Mecklenburg County COPS bonds (Certificates of Participation), based on
new property tax revenues generated by the Village project alone.
Details of the financial arrangements have yet to be worked out between
the Town of Cornelius, Mecklenburg County, and the developer. Those
details will later be presented to the Town Board for review and
approval pending any needed modifications.
"We believe strongly in the exciting potential of the Cornelius-Lake
Norman area," Rector said. "This is why we are willing to go to great
lengths to meet all the Town's conditions and provide as many
improvements as are financially feasible."
Cornelius Bromont, LLC, is a partnership of Bromont Investments of
Scottsdale, AZ, and Carlsen Douglas Development of Huntersville, NC.
Design team members include Bartlett Associates MegaStrategies as
architects, ColeJenest & Stone land planners and designers, Kimley-Horn
& Associates transportation engineers, and Charles MacLean of CCM3
Architects, designer of many Bromont projects for three decades.
For more information about the Village at Lake Norman, visit
(Media Contact: Buck Lawrimore, Lawrimore Communications Inc.,