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Cornelius News

20 units sold in project that taps demand for ultra luxury condos

Emily and Jamie Rolewicz

By Dave Yochum.  Some residential projects are game-changers. River Run comes to mind, as well as The Peninsula. These are residential projects that brought an entirely new level of amenities—and price—to the market back in the day.

The Watermark condominium project just off West Catawba is another one. With pricing ranging upwards from $800,000 per unit before upgrades, the project brings mansion-quality living to the multi-unit resort-residence market in Lake Norman.

The project also taps into the empty nesters in the largest lakefront and golf course homes who want to downsize but retain the ambiance of the highest quality finishes and amenities, including marble foyers and room-size walk-in closets.

Total build-out is valued at around $51 million—on a 5.2-acre parcel that doesn’t touch Lake Norman. Instead there is a 3,255 square foot hotel-style swimming pool that is more

than 10 times bigger than the average backyard pool.

Husband-wife team Jamie and Emily Rolewicz are partnering on the project, with Jamie running construction all the way to drywall and Emily following with fixtures and

Photo by: Shots Fired Photography


As far as economic development is concerned, Watermark is one of the largest employers in Cornelius during construction.

On any given day there 150 workers on-site, working for 15-20 sub-contractors at any given time. Jamie, who is a co-owner of Cornelius-based Champion Tire & Wheel—a major national operation involved in NASCAR team support—is acting as the general contractor on the project.

The project is being built in two phases, with a total of 2.1 million lbs. of steel.

Phase 1 has 28 units in two buildings and is being completed now. Eighteen of the units have been sold.

Phase 2, with 20 units in two buildings, gets under way in September. Two have been pre-sold.

There are a total of 10 penthouses.

“If I had more I could sell them,”

Jamie said.

A penthouse is $1.4 million before upgrades. Two owners have combined units to form 6,500 square foot condominium residences.

There is a conference room on the premises as well as an activity room overlooking the pool and a gym.

A unit with 3,000 square feet is listed now for $1.058 million, putting the square foot price near $350 per square foot, about the same ballpark as a lakefront mansion.

“They ‘live’ like a house,” Jamie said.

Victor and Amy Petrenko of Sotheby’s International in Cornelius have the listings.

An experienced developer of commercial projects, including the Hyde Park complex on Bailey Road, he has built more than four dozen high-end homes, as well as 500,000 square feet of medical office and industrial product with business partner Kevin Mahl.

At final build-out, the project adds about $110,000 to the town’s total revenue.