Eco-building design raises eyebrows in Cornelius
By Sam Boykin CORNELIUS — Developer Kenny Habul plans to break ground in early 2010 on a mixed-use project that’s being touted for its sustainable features and innovative design. It’s also going to stick out like a sore thumb. And that’s exactly what Habul wants. Habul, a native of Australia, received final approval for the Cornelius One development in August, but only after what he called “two years of head-butting” with some residents and officials. Much of the hold-up concerned zoning and access issues related to a retirement community he plans to build on the same 10-acre lot. But some also balked that the project’s design was too radical. The three-story, 30,000-square-foot development will feature retail and restaurant space on the ground floor, with office space above. But that’s where the similarity to the area’s other mixed-use developments ends.