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Cornelius News

Planning Board recommends denial for business park on Bailey Road

Proposed Cornelius Commerce Center on Bailey Road near Hwy. 115 intersection

June 13. By Dave Vieser. By a 3-2 margin, the Cornelius Planning Board has recommended that the Town Board deny a rezoning for the proposed Cornelius Business Park on Bailey Road. The recommendation, made at their June 12 meeting, now goes before the Town Board at a public hearing scheduled for Monday July 17 at 6 pm.

The applicant, GGW Flex Holdings LLC of Charlotte, was requesting permission to rezone approximately 36 acres located on the north side of Bailey Road across from the Bailey Road Park to develop a flex office project comprised of five single-story buildings totaling 198,720 square feet.

The property, currently vacant, is zoned rural preservation. However, the new town land use plan designates the area for business campus. Conditional Zoning is sought by GGW.

“This particular flex office building complex would serve a need that is severely lacking in the southeast,” Drew Thigpen said in GGW’s application. “Most of the existing flex office available in the region is outdated, repurposed and substandard.”

Yes, but

However, a slim majority of the planning board agreed with residents who have opposed the project, indicating that the project just doesn’t fit in the Bailey Road location. Many of the concerns raised were related to traffic on Bailey Road, which is the location of a town park, as well as Bailey Middle and Hough High School.

All that said, the project conforms with the town’s master plan.

It’s a recommendation

Does the planning board’s decision doom the project? Not necessarily, because it is only a recommendation. For example, in 2021 the planning board recommended denial of rezoning for the Junker Property where up to 252 multifamily units were proposed by developer Jake Palillo on West Catawba Avenue.

At the town board public hearing, the developer reduced the size to 192 units, and the town board approved the revised project. However, in the Business Park case Town Commissioner Denis Bilodeau has already said he could not support the project and plans to vote no.

The public hearing on the Business Park Project will be held on Monday July 17, beginning at 6 pm in Town Hall on Catawba Avenue.