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Cornelius News

Planning Board to decide on Bailey Road project tonight

Commerce Center property outlined in red

June 12. By Dave Vieser. The Cornelius Planning Staff has recommended that the town Planning Board approve the Cornelius Business Park rezoning at their meeting this evening June 12, in Town Hall. However, the recommendation contains 11 detailed conditions which the developer must agree to, some of which are unique to the project which is on Bailey Road.

The applicant, GGW Flex Holdings LLC of Charlotte, is requesting 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. A total of 441 surface parking spaces are also planned, along with loading areas behind each building.

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.

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

“This particular flex office building complex would serve a need that is severely lacking in the southeast,” said Drew Thigpen in GGW’s application. “Most of the existing flex office available in the region is outdated, repurposed and substandard. Our buildings would be of premier quality with long- term utility and functionality. As developers, we do not sell our assets so it is important to us that what we build retains its value and is designed and built in a way that ensures it will be just as desirable in twenty years as it is on day one.”

However, some residents have opposed the project, attending community and town meetings to express their reservations. Many of the concerns are related to traffic on Bailey Road, which is home to a town park, as well as Bailey Middle and Hough High. Moreover, Town Commissioner Denis Bilodeau has said he could not support the project.

Among the conditions which the town is requiring:

—Construct an eastbound Bailey Road left turn lane with 100 feet of storage and a westbound Bailey Road right turn lane with 100 feet of storage.

—Provide a crosswalk on Bailey Road from the proposed development to Bailey Road Park.

—The developer must make their parking areas available to the Town for use as overflow parking for a minimum of two special events each year. The special events are on weekends and one-day in duration.

In addition to the normal business campus uses, the town staff recommendations would also permit the operation of an animal hospital and grooming facility, as well as an animal boarding facility and an ATM at the site.

Once the Planning Board renders a decision, this case is scheduled to go before the Town Board for a full Public Hearing on Monday, July 17th.

The planning board meeting begins at 6:30 pm in Town Hall on Catawba Avenue. It will also be live streamed on the town website: www.cornelius.org.