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Cornelius News

Controversial business park on Bailey Road is withdrawn

Elevations of Cornelius Commerce Center

July 18. By Dave Vieser. In a stunning turn of events, Drew Thigpen of Greenway Gibbons Properties, the applicant seeking approval for a flex office complex on Bailey Road, withdrew his rezoning application at Monday night’s Town Board meeting. It followed almost 90 minutes of comments from a packed with residents, most from Bailey’s Glen and all of whom speaking out against the project.

From doctors to senior citizens, they all conveyed a similar message: Bailey Road was the wrong location for this project.

Thigpen wanted to delay consideration of his project Monday evening so he could have more time to respond to concerns raised by residents.

Drew Thigpen

But he never got the chance. By a vote of 3-2, with Mayor Washam casting the tie breaking vote—Commissioner Dave Gilroy was absent—his request to defer the project was denied prompting a round of applause heard throughout Town Hall. Commissioners Colin Furcht and Michael Osborne voted for the deferral. Commissioners Denis Bilodeau and Todd Sansbury voted against. With Gilroy absent, the mayor broke tie and aligned with Bilodeau and Sansbury.

The board could have actually conducted a hearing on the rezoning Monday at that time but Thigpen apparently decided to cut his losses.

“Certainly it has been a long process for everyone who was involved in forming Friends of Bailey Road,” said Paul Herbert. “This group did its homework and took the time to research the complicated rules and requirements of land use planning, traffic planning and zoning requirements. It’s about time that the Town Board listened to the hundreds of citizens who expressed dissatisfaction with the fit of this proposed project and the time it took for those citizens to be heard.”


“I am very disappointed,“ Thigpen told the commissioners before formally withdrawing the application.

Thigpen sought to develop a flex office project comprised of five single-story buildings totaling 198,720 square feet across from the entrance to Bailey Road Park. The 36 acre property is on the north side of Bailey Road and remains zoned for rural preservation.

Open letter

Click here for Thigpen’s Letter to the Editor on this subject.