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Cornelius News

New, more upscale Birkdale unfolds in Huntersville

The stage at Birkdale / Staff photo

Sept. 12. By TL Bernthal. Birkdale Village Reimagined is on its way to becoming the lifestyle, dining and shopping destination its owners want it to be.

With the weekend opening of The Plaza that has the new stage and space for concert seating and Club Birkdale, what the owners call their “unique approach to concierge.”

The concierge service is an effort to infuse resort-inspired services throughout the Birkdale Village experience. And with a hotel planned for the property and new restaurants coming in, it’s a way to set the style and attitude of the village.

The Plaza

The Plaza boasts a covered stage for entertainers and a 16-by-20 LED screen. There’s some seating—not too comfortable—scattered around the lawn, but it’s still bring your own chair or blanket for the Live Under the Oaks concerts. No coolers allowed, you have to buy your food and beverage on site.

Birkdale Village concierge / Photo by Jason Benavides

Select NFL and NCAA games will be shown, along with promotional displays.

The Plaza is located in the green space between Chico’s/Starbucks and Sunglass Hut/Dressler’s.

Singer Shelley Ruffin commanded the stage on Friday, and her vocals carried to the back during songs, but her words were lost when she was talking. The temporary fencing at the back also made it difficult for patrons to navigate through the crowd.

A work in progress

Construction in the common area spaces such as The Plaza and Grove are complete, while tenant build-outs will continue into 2023.

Birkdale Village owners early this year began a $20 million redo which included eliminating the roundabout and fountain in the center of the complex.

Lifestyle center

Conceived as a modern-day interpretation of the shopping mall, lifestyle centers are characterized by outdoor settings and multiple uses, including office, multi-housing and hospitality in addition to upscale, national-chains and specialty retail.

Birkdale Village, as the ultimate lifestyle center in Huntersville, is planning to add a hotel, as well as office and commercial space and hundreds of multifamily units.

New hotel, offices planned

Look for more development at Birkdale Village. The new owners of Birkdale will come before the Huntersville Town Board three weeks from today with plans for 350 new multifamily units, a 125 -room hotel, 150,000 square feet of office and 25,000 square feet of commercial.

Concierge service

Birkdale Village concierge Jade Robinson

On our visit over the weekend, Cornelius Today found the concierge staff to be smart, well-trained, eager to help and thoughtful.

The concierge desk has restaurant menus, lists of shops and services. Staff will make a restaurant reservation, hold your shopping bags if you want to free your hands for more purchases, or call an Uber or Lyft if you’ve partied more than planned and don’t want to drive home.

You can charge your phone, grab an umbrella or blanket, and complimentary stroller and wheelchair rentals are available, as is a golf-cart tour of the village. First aid is available as well.

Bottles of water and mints are there for people, while dog treats and water bowls for their furry friends.

Hours are 10 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 pm Sunday.

The media experience

Birkdale Village owners added this new policy under concierge services: Concierge may provide guests with media passes, necessary for any professional photography on property, at the Concierge booth. Approval from property management required for larger productions.

A Cornelius Today photographer was nabbed by security for raising his camera without a pass. He received a warning and was told to pay $25 for a 24-hour media pass. The concierge staff said media “fines” would be donated to the Hope House, a nonprofit in Huntersville that offers housing and services to women and children.

For this reporter’s visit, Cornelius Today will donate $25 to Big Day at the Lake/Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas.

Lifestyle centers, we gather, are geared toward controlling a visitor’s experience and the presentation of it.

On our second visit, the new public bathrooms were clean and in every politically correct flavor.

Valet parking, at a price

The valet parking, a new service for $12 plus tip, was quick and efficient. You hand over your keys, give the valet your cell phone number and get a text with your car number and links to pay and alert the valet when you are on your way to retrieve your car. Valet staff was terrific, too.

The under-the-building parking lot across from the concierge desk is reserved for valet parking. Long-time visitors are bemoaning the loss of the parking spaces throughout the village that came with the other changes.

For the residents

Birkdale Village owners are extending care to residents, too. For residents only, the concierge team can:

—Provide residents with food delivery from participating restaurants in Birkdale Village. Call the concierge desk to schedule delivery.

—Arrange for home cleaning and organizational services with their preferred local partners.

—Help schedule at-home makeup and hairstyling appointments with its preferred services.

–Help schedule car detailing appointments with its preferred providers. Shoppers who are going to spend some time at the Village, can call ahead and schedule an appointment.

Contact them

You can reach the team by emailing concierge@birkdalevillage.com or calling 704-817-2400.