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Lincoln Harris hired to study development possibilities for 500 acres near Mooresville

Lincoln Harris is working with Iredell County, the town of Mooresville and the Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corp. on a comprehensive vision for the development of hundreds of acres along Langtree Road.

RL West, which owns the LangTree Lake Norman mixed used development, is one of the many owners of property on the other side of Interstate 77 for which Lincoln Harris will do a market study. Photo by Mark Abramson

RL West, which owns the LangTree Lake Norman mixed used development, is one of the many owners of property on the other side of Interstate 77 for which Lincoln Harris will do a market study. Photo by Mark Abramson

On Tuesday, the Iredell County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve funding half the cost of a $140,700 market study for the properties. Mooresville’s Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on funding the other half, $70,350, at its meeting Dec. 7, said Erskine Smith, Mooresville’s town manager.

Smith said the land is about 500 acres. About 100 acres of it is in the town limits and the remaining property is in Mooresville’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, which is county land that the town is responsible for working with developers to develop, he said.

County Manager Ron Smith said he expects that all of the land would be annexed into Mooresville either when the work starts on development or as some of the development is completed so it can have town-provided sewer services..

As part of the study, Lincoln Harris will meet with property owners, the economic development corporation, and potential future tenants including retailers, the health care industry and hotel operators to determine what sort of development will be most viable. The Charlotte real estate company also will assess infrastructure needs.

Lincoln Harris has also proposed to the property owners performing predevelopment services and entering into ajoint venture agreement to develop the land east of Interstate 77. The land isowned by Lowe’s, which is headquartered in Mooresville; The Cove Church; the Knox family; telecommunications and energy company ACN; developers McLeod Goode and Crosland; Ron Turner; and RL West, which is developing the nearby LangTree Lake Norman, which lies west of I-77.

Lincoln Harris officials did not return phone calls for comment.

The Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corp. hired Lincoln Harris for the market study after the property owners started discussing developing the land with the town of Mooresville, said Robert Carney Jr., the economic development corporation’s executive director. The town asked the economic development corporation, which is funded primarily by the town and county, to take the lead in this effort, he said.

“We see this as being really attractive property for development,” Carney said.

Carney said the property’s location makes it ripe for attracting companies that may be looking to relocate their corporate or regional headquarters. That is something that Mooresville doesn’t have a lot of, he said. The development is likely to be a mixed use of office, retail, health care, hotel and residential.

The property’s proximity to I-77 and Lake Norman also make it attractive; more than 200 acres, owned by RL West, are on the lake, he said.

Smith said he expects Lincoln Harris to complete its market study in the spring, providing the town and county with information on what infrastructure would be required to support a project.

The county and town are contributing to the Lincoln Harris study because developing the land will benefit both jurisdictions, said Ron Smith, Iredell County’s manager.

“We want to see it done in a cohesive way where all the parties are on board and we get the maximum return on the investment (of developing the land),” Ron Smith said.

RL West is already developing the 57-acre LangTree Lake Norman, a waterfront community with retail and residential development, including 300 apartments west of I-77. That development will include a hotel that is still in the design phase, but it is expected to be 12 stories, said Mark Lockman, RL West vice president of construction and development services.

Lockman said RL West has been focused on developing LangTree Lake Norman and has not gone far in its plans for mixed-use development on the property included in the study. He said Lincoln Harris was a good choice for the study based on its vast experience in development projects around Charlotte, including the Phillips Place mixed-use development.

“We did plan to develop that, but I want to hear what they (Lincoln Harris) have to say,” Lockman said.

 

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