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Huntersville Market land-swap OK’d; first two tenants announced

HUNTERSVILLE — The Huntersville Board of Commissioners Monday night unanimously OK’d a land swap that will allow construction to begin this spring on a new retail development, Huntersville Market.

Also, on Tuesday, The Mecklenburg Times learned that the project’s first two tenants will be a Walgreens pharmacy and a Novant Health medical clinic.

Plans call for the Walgreens and Novant to each occupy about 15,000 square feet in new buildings in Huntersville Market, according to Jay Priester, vice president of Cambridge Properties, Huntersville Market’s developer.

Last week, developer Encore Real Estate, of Atlanta, submitted a site plan to the town, seeking approval for a 15,460-square-foot, one-story Walgreens on a prominent parcel of Huntersville Market.

The Huntersville Market project, first approved by the town in 2008, has taken five years to get going, partly because of the complexities that come with being in two municipalities. Plans call for Huntersville Market to be a 21-acre development at Properity Church and Eastfield roads on the Charlotte-Huntersville border.

Under the proposal approved Monday night, Cambridge Properties and John Wieland Homes have worked out a land-swap involving a neighboring housing subdivision, Wieland’s Olmsted.

Olmsted will be given 1.04 acres of the Huntersville Market site. In exchange, 1.16 acres of the Olmsted site will be given to Huntersville Market, according to Huntersville planning documents.

The swap would allow Huntersville Market to accommodate a planned one-story, 15,000-square-foot medical office building that will house the Novant clinic, which will comprise family practice and orthopedic practices, Priester said.

In their vote Monday night, the town’s commissioners agreed to the rezoning of each piece of land, from rural to commercial and vice versa. The rezoning paves the way for the land swap.

Huntersville Market plans to use the 1.16 acres for extra parking and water-quality purposes. Olmstead is expected to use its 1.04 addition as green space.

Olmsted is a 460-acre, 440-lot housing subdivision, and the Huntersville Market project has the potential to become a commercial “gateway” between the two municipalities, Priester said.

Huntersville Market project costs have not been announced.

The Walgreens tenancy was revealed Thursday with the submission of the site plan. Walgreens and Novant would occupy two of the eight parcels in Huntersville Market. Novant will submit its site plan to the town for approval soon, Priester said.

The town has not yet announced dates for the meetings required for approval of Walgreens site plans, which call for a 61-space parking lot and access roads.

The area, already home to several major housing developments, holds great promise for future retail and residential growth, Priester and David Peete, Huntersville principal planner, said in September.

The intersection is also home to one of Harris Teeter’s new upscale 201central stores.

In addition to Olmsted, four other housing developments in Huntersville and Charlotte surround the Huntersville Market site.

The project’s location on the border of Charlotte and Huntersville and the need to reroute, widen and extend roads have complicated the project, Priester said in September.

Also, drainage issues bedevil the site, he said.

Because of those issues, Cambridge has to deal with at least half a dozen state, county, town and city agencies, he said.

“The location has made this an incredibly complicated project,” he said in September. “We have to get everything exactly right, and as soon as one agency signs off on an aspect of project, another agency says, ‘No, no, you have to do this.’”

Tony Brown can be reached at tony.brown@mecktimes.com, (704) 247-2912 or on Twitter at @tonymecktimes.

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