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Cornelius News

Brace yourselves: There are 28 projects in various states of readiness on the drawing boards

Construction on West Catawba Avenue opposite Nantz Road


Look for the intersection of Nantz Road and West Catawba to change dramatically as well as other development sites around town.

At Nantz and West Catawba there will be a new convenience store and day care center. Convenience Development Partners will extend Nantz Road to the south and east, behind the boat storage businesses,  meeting up with another extension that is expected to be built by the developer of Magnolia Villas.

Magnolia Villas is a proposed 60-unit residential project on vacant land behind Dunkin and the existing 7-Eleven convenience store that would connect with Magnolia Estates Drive. The original zoning approval had BV Belk Properties listed as the applicant, but in December 2020, a new application and site plan was filed with the town of by Mooresville-based Nest Communities.

A glitch

Will the extension to Magnolia Estates, not far from the Fifth Third branch, occur in a timely fashion? That remains to be seen.

Evan Walton, of Convenience Development Partners, says he will do his part.

“We are dedicating our land and paying for the entire road on our property. It will be a full cross section with sidewalk and multi purpose path,” he said. “Magnolia Villas will pick up the road at the property line and build the rest of it to Magnolia Estates Drive.”

West Catawba Avenue opposite Nantz Road

Herein lies the rub: The zoning for the Magnolia Villas project, which consists of over 60 residential units, was originally approved back in 2005, but no site work has ever been done. Town planning Director Rox Burhans says the Nest Communities construction plans are under review by the town.

“This project requires having construction plans approved to move forward with development,” Burhans said. “We are unaware of the developer’s planned start date since they are still in the permitting process.”

Ideally, the two sections of the road would have been built at the same time.

The convenience store/day care project encompasses nine acres that were previously undeveloped except for two vacant homes which were recently demolished. The project will include two commercial/retail buildings totaling 9,400 square feet fronting West Catawba Avenue.

Original plans also called for a 45,000 square foot office building, but Walton said the demand for such space has fallen dramatically since COVID.

The situation with this project, whereby a zoning change has been approved but no work has started, is not unusual.

In fact, there are numerous such projects in Cornelius, an indication that there is a building boom ahead.

Projects approved but not built—yet

1. Greystone Square (office building) 2004 corner of Catawba/Hwy. 21. Never built, as the  Town purchased property for the Catawba/US 21 project

2. North Main Street duplexes 2004. Developed as single-family homes instead.

3. Cooke property (west side of I-77) 2005. Business campus never built..

4. Redevelopment of Curtis Screw and surrounding properties as Business Campus 2005. Pending.

5. Village at Lake Norman/Augustalee 2007.  801,000 sf of office, 311,000 sf of commercial, 236,000 major anchor, 92,000 sf junior anchors, 2 hotels 350 rooms, 400 apartments. Never built, but Atrium is building a hospital on portions of the property

6. Caldwell Depot Commercial 2007. Never built

7. Courtyard at Kenton 2007. Never built

8. Antiquity Commercial portion of phase 2B at the railroad. Never built

9. Bailey’s Glen condos 2008. Never built. Construction plans approved.

10. Best Western Hotel 2009 Holiday Lane. Adjacent to SECU. Never built, but replaced by Credit Union now under construction

11. Cornelius One Business Park 2009. West Catawba Avenue near River Church. Never built

Caroline rendering

12. Norman Island Office park 2009. Corner of NC 73 and Norman Island Drive, now Williamson Wealth Management

13. Cornelius Grand/Magnolia Villas 2013. 65 townhomes never built; construction plans under review

14. Queen Street Subdivision 2017. 5 lots never built

15. CD Nantz 2018. Convenience store/office never built Under construction

16. Mulberry Townhomes 2018. 6 units never built

17. Bailey’s Glen Boon property 2020. 10 lots Under construction

18. Junker 2020. 195 multi-family on West Catawba. Site prep under way

19. Sefton Park 2020. 330 apartments and a hotel/conference center) no action to date

20. Mayes Meadow 2020. 160 single-family homes never built. Construction to start soon

Greenway Gartens artist rendering

21. Greenway Gartens 2020. Olde Mecklenburg Brewery with 346 multi-family units and 14 town homes, no action to dateDeveloping construction plans and pursuing permit approval

22. Towns at Feriba 2021. 7 single-family units never builtPermits for construction issued

23. Action Water Sports 2021. Chartwell Drive never built

24. Caroline 2021. 290 multifamily with office never built. Development pending

25. Reserve at Smith Circle 2021. 12 single-family homes no action to date

26. Cornelius Mixed Use Building 2021. Office and 8 condos no action to date

27. Mama’s Pizza 2017. 5,250 sf redevelopment on hold for intersection improvements

28. Vanderbilt Children’s College, Westmoreland Road never built