Legacy 521 apartments to begin construction

By: Payton Guion, staff writer//April 14, 2014//

Legacy 521 apartments to begin construction

By: Payton Guion, staff writer//April 14, 2014//

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CHARLOTTE – Typically, when a developer is granted a rezoning and has specific plans in mind, that developer makes haste in starting a project.CommercialConfidential4-15WEB

GCI Residential, a multifamily developer from suburban Cleveland, was granted a rezoning in September 2012 that would allow the company to develop an apartment project on about 16 acres of land off Lancaster Highway in the southern-most portion of Charlotte, but the company didn’t start work on the project until now.

Parry Cobb, vice president of GCI, said the company believed that part of the city – and south of the N.C. border – was primed for explosive growth, but said GCI chose to wait for that explosion to happen before starting work on Legacy 521, a 248-unit apartment community.

“The reason why we were waiting to start work on Legacy was we were waiting for Lancaster (County) and Ballantyne to really take off,” Cobb said. “It’s now prime time in those areas.”

Prime time indeed. Since the rezoning was granted by the Charlotte City Council, the Ballantyne area has seen the corporate relocation of MetLife, the construction and opening of a Publix supermarket, and millions of dollars in other commercial development. To the south, there’s the northern panhandle of Lancaster County, S.C., where the population doubled between 2000 and 2010 and there is additional commercial development.

GCI two weeks ago pulled its first building permits for the project, according to the Mecklenburg County permits database. In those, GCI was permitted for more than $10 million in construction on two buildings and retaining walls.

Cobb said the eight-building project will be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, ranging in size from 826 square feet for the smallest unit to 1,635 for the biggest three-bedroom unit. Rents at Legacy 521 haven’t been determined.

The community will have a rooftop garden, a pool, and a three-story clubhouse with an indoor basketball court and a fitness center, Cobb said.

The first units will be delivered in late February or early March 2015, with the entire project being finished about six months after the first units, Cobb said. GCI’s construction company is the general contractor on the project, according to building permit records.

GCI first applied for the land’s rezoning in February 2012, but first had to address complaints from neighbors about the proposal, which delayed the City Council decision for a few months.

In several past rezonings, South Charlotte residents have been vocal opponents and at times have been successful in persuading the City Council to reject rezoning requests.

“The community was against the rezoning so we had to battle that,” Cobb said. “We’ve got a good reputation, so we had to go in and say that we’re long-term holder (of property). We’re going to own and maintain and manage the community. We just had to make everyone know our intentions.”

“But we did make some accommodations.”

For this project, neighbors didn’t like tall apartment buildings so close to the residential subdivisions behind the site. To appease neighbors, and increase GCI’s chances of being granted a rezoning, the company changed the Legacy site plan to have the taller apartment buildings away from the residences. The company also cut eight units from its original plan.

Project name: Legacy 521

Address: 15708 Greythorne Drive, off Lancaster Highway

Developer: GCI Residential

Units: 248

Square footage of units: Between 826 and 1,635

Contractor: GCI Construction

Construction began: April

Expected completion: Fall 2015

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