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Cornelius News

New building for pizza mushrooms


Aug. 7. By​ Dave Vieser​. The Cornelius Town Board unanimously approved plans ​for a new Mama’s Pizza building, more than twice the size of the existing facility. ​Business owner Frank Manis, a Cornelius resident, ​plans to erect a good-looking, 5,250-square-foot structure on ​the ​land behind the current restaurant​, which will eventually be demolished.

The current building has only 1,652 square feet of heated space, according to Mecklenburg County tax records, and 2,291 square feet overall.

​The new facility will include an outdoor seating area​, as well as​ 2,000 square feet ​for an additional tenant. Parking will be in front of the new building​. By​ placing the building behind the current ​restaurant, Mama’s will only be closed for about 4-5 weeks​ next summer, much to the relief of those who love Italian food. Mama’s Pizza also prepares hundreds of school lunches ​each day for 11 ​local ​charter schools​.

Commissioner Jim Duke expressed what was really on everyone’s mind at the town meeting last night: “Whatever you do, don’t change your pizza.”

Manis agreed to provide space in the new restaurant for art in conjunction with the town’s arts district. The project application sailed through a series of hearings but at the Aug. 7 hearing, Mayor Chuck Travis and Commissioner Dave Gilroy both expressed concerns about having parking in front, as well as their desire to have a planting strip of trees between the sidewalk and the street. Manis agreed to work with the town on the trees once the state-funded design for Highway 115/North Main Street is complete. “Overall, I like the plan,” said Mayor Pro Tem Woody Washam. “It will be a vast improvement.”

Also at the August 7 meeting, the Town Board:

  • Approved a request to rezone approximately 4.87 acres located at 18916 Old Statesville Road from Rural Preservation (RP) to Conditional Zoning (CZ) in order to permit the establishment a new office for Hodge HVAC.
  • Reappointed Cheryl Crawford as chair of the town’s Land Development Code Advisory Board (LDCAB) for the upcoming year.
  • Accepted a $63,844 state grant to fund 50 % of the cost for two traffic officers on the Cornelius Police. This is the final year of the grant.


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