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Cornelius News

Traffic study planned for Catawba/One Norman

Oct. 17. By Dave Vieser. A consulting firm will conduct a traffic impact analysis (TIA) on a prime 11-acre development site at the intersection of West Catawba Avenue and One Norman B​oulevard​.

The property owner, Charter Cornelius, is planning five commercial/retail buildings comprising a total of 48,225 square feet. The proposal calls for three buildings fronting on West Catawba and two facing Knox Road. In between, a private road with access to multiple rows of parking is planned, and a retention pond/tree buffer is shown on the northeast corner of the parcel near Knox Road.

“We would expect the TIA to be done by the end of the year, after which this proposal will follow the usual approval process from the Planning Board, then back to the Town Board​,” said Planning Director Wayne Herron​.​ Kimley-Horn, a leading engineering and planning firm, will do the analysis.

Several residents offered comments about the proposal. “I am concerned about the traffic at the proposed entrance on Knox Road, across from Harken Drive​,​” said Phil Davis. “This could be very dangerous.”

​Charter has held the property for two decades. It is part of Charter Realty & Development, based in Greenwich, Ct. ​co-​founded in 1993 by Paul Brandes and Daniel Zelson. Charter has acquired and developed more than 60 shopping centers and freestanding properties comprising nearly 10 million square feet with a total acquisition and development cost in excess of $1 billion.

Realtor Debbie Monroe raised concerns about the wildlife on the property. “There are quite a few deer on that vacant site and when building begins I am afraid they will be displaced and wander into neighboring communities.”​ She also asked the developer to leave a significant amount of trees standing rather than leveling the site.

​The Charter property adjoins the Lake Norman Realty office site.

Real Estate Attorney Susan Irvin, representing Charter, said they would try and preserve as many trees as possible. “We are struggling to balance the various comments we have received with the needs of our applicant.”

In response to a question from Commissioner Dave Gilroy, Irvin said she was not at liberty to disclose the potential retail uses or tenants planned for the project at this time.

Charter Cornelius​, which has land-banked the property ​is part of Charter Realty & Development Corp., a real estate investment, development, and leasing company specializing in retail properties. Charter, which dates back to 1993, has acquired and developed more than 60 shopping centers and freestanding net leased properties comprising nearly 10 million square feet with a total acquisition and development cost in excess of $1 billion.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the Board:

· Conducted a brief public hearing on a request by Michael Waltrip to sub divide his property on Liverpool Parkway. No public comments were offered and a second public hearing is tentatively scheduled for Monday No​v.​ 20.

· Authorized the creation a Deputy Clerk position to exercise and perform the powers and duties of the Town Clerk if required. Town Manager Anthony Roberts emphasized that the authorization is not for an added person as the deputy would be selected among current employees.

· Appointed Kathryn McClelland as chair of the Cornelius Historic Preservation Committee replacing Julie Miller who stepped down as chair in August.

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