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Cornelius News

Construction at Alexander Farm likely begins in April

Alexander Farm / Photo by Jason Benavides


March 14. What’s on tap for the Alexander Farm site in Cornelius? Despite the lack of activity—construction was initially expected to begin late last year—plenty is about to happen, according to Jesse McInerney, managing partner of WIN Development, a Belleair Beach, Fla. developer.


In an exclusive interview with Cornelius Today and Business Today, McInerney spelled out specific plans for the 55-acre multimillion-dollar, mixed-use project:

Question: When will we begin to see activity on the site?

Answer: Probably around April. We are targeting to start work on erosion control, demolition of the existing structures at that location and to start grading the land during that time frame.

Q: You mention demolition. Will the tenant house located in the northwest corner of the property be saved?

A: The memorandum of agreement provides that the house can be relocated within 45 days, and if it is not, we do have the right to demolish it. However, we are working with the Town to come up with a solution so that we can preserve the structure. Regardless of what happens with the tenant house, we will be constructing an exhibit of some sort that will provide background and information on tenant farming. The design of this exhibit is unknown at this time, but will be created in cooperation with local historical associations and the town.

Sharecropper House / Photo by Jason Benavides

Q: When will we see buildings begin to rise and retail stores open?

A: If all goes as planned, new buildings will start to become visible to passing motorists and pedestrians in the last few months of 2022, and we currently plan for the first retail store to open in early 2023.

Q: What stores have you signed up for the project?

A: I’d like to tell your readers, but our attorney has advised us that the retailers will handle their own announcements and we are under confidentiality agreements as to who they are and the timing of their openings.

Q: Previously, we had learned that the Lidl discount grocery store was coming. Can you at least confirm that?

A: Yes, I can. They will be in our retail component.

Q: What will the order of construction be for the project?

A: There will be three major components: Retail near West Catawba Avenue, the active adult facility north of retail, and the private homes in the rear (northern) segment. The retail elements will be on the forefront of the project timeline, while the active adult construction will likely start shortly after the retail aspects commence. The residential homes in the rear will come later as permits cannot be pulled for those units until the infrastructure—roads, utilities, etc.—are in place.

Q: Can you elaborate on the infrastructure improvements tied into this project?

A: Our approvals with the Town and NCDOT have several interim improvements that will tie into permanent improvements which they have planned for the area. For example, we will be widening Westmoreland Road slightly, from the roundabout at Eagle Ridge Road to our entrance across from Robbins Park. In addition, all our entrances will have inbound turning lanes.

Q: I understand there will be a park in the project. Can you explain how this will be incorporated into the development?

A: There are already several pocket parks planned inside the project—one at the interior of the retail section, another in the residential section. The entire Duke row which runs under their lines will also remain untouched other than a multi use trail which will be extended for its entire length through the project. We will also be deeding to the town approximately 3.2 acres for a park. The town will determine the precise parameters and design for that park.

Q: Has a general contractor been selected?

A: Not at this time. We (WIN Development) will be the overall management firm along with River Rock of Mooresville for the residential pieces. When we move into the construction phase, a general contractor will be selected.