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State of Junker property prompts concern from Planning Board member

Junker property on W. Catawba

March 18. By Dave Vieser. The Junker property, a mixed-use development on West Catawba continues to be a thorn in the side of local residents and officials. The newest issue involves incomplete clearance of trees, leaving large tree trunks spread over portions of the 12-acre property, as well as branches wrapped into phone and cable wires.

“Does anyone know whats happening with this property,” Planning Board member Fred Westway asked at their March 11 meeting. “It really is very unattractive the way it’s been left. I’m also concerned about the tree pieces wrapped in the wires.”

Junker property concerns include branches wrapped into phone and cable wires / Photo by Jason Benavides

Some planning board members suggested that the developer may be awaiting utility clearances before proceeding with the work.

Not so, said developer Jamie Rolewicz. “We’re following the prescribed Mecklenburg county guidelines and procedures on how to develop a site.”

The original plans were proposed by developer Jake Palillo, but soon after gaining town approval, the project was taken over by Jamie Rolewicz/West Catawba Properties, which is comprised of Legacy Pointe Properties as well as New Castle Development Group, an apartment developer from Charlottesville, Va.

Rolewicz is well-known for the Hyde Park complex on Bailey Road and the Watermark luxury condominiums behind Goodwill.

The Junker site includes the familiar White House Gardens which will be closing later this spring and moving to Denver.

In 2021, the approval of last minute rezoning changes by several board members may have cost them their seats on the town board in the following election.

Perhaps a new name might help. Rolewicz has indicated that the 195-unit project will be renamed but for the moment, it’s still known as the Junker property.