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Under ConstructionRezoning Requests on Rise in Steele Creek

(October 21, 2012) The development boom Steele Creek experienced early in the last decade slowed to a crawl for a few years, but based on the number of new and expected rezoning applications, new development is on the rise here again. The largest project is the Tanger Outlet shopping mall at I-485 and Steele Creek Road announced last week.

New Rezoning


















Here are descriptions of planned projects.

In September, the Charlotte City Council approved rezoning Petition 2012-059 by SBG Properties that will allow construction of a convenience store and Bojangles restaurant on Steele Creek Road east of the new Dixie River Road intersection. (See Spot Rezoning Requested on Steele Creek Road near I-485.)

Last week, the City Council approved Petition 2012-078 for an assisted care facility at 13600 S Tryon St between the Steelecroft and McDowell Place subdivisions across from Christ the King Church. Plans call for 42 beds for adult care assisted living and 48 beds for special care residents with memory issues. The developers, Queen City Health Investors, have an approved Certificate of Need from the North Carolina Division of Heath Service Regulation for a 90-bed facility, which means they can proceed with construction. Construction should begin by the end of this year and be completed in late 2013.

Last year, the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte received rezoning approval for a senior housing facility next to Good Shepherd Church, but they apparently have not received approval for a Certificate of Need, and this property will not be developed for senior housing.

Also last week, the City Council held a public hearing for Petition 2012-086, which would allow construction of six industrial buildings at the corner of Steele Creek Road and Shopton Road north of I-485. In 2002, rezoning was approved for this property that would allow a mix of retail and office uses that would have possibly included a hotel and restaurants. However, because there is little prospect for future residential development north of I-485, retail is unlikely to be successful here.

If rezoning is approved in November, as expected, construction on the first three buildings would begin immediately, with the next three coming in about a year.

Mecklenburg County purchased a five-acre section of the original property in 2009 to be the site of a new regional library. Since the county has sold few bonds in the last few years, construction of a library is not in the county's short term plans. However, the county does still own the land. (See County Acquires Site for Regional Library off Shopton Road, October 4, 2009.)

Development of the shopping center across Steele Creek Road has halted. Food Lion had planned to build a Bloom grocery store there, but they no longer operate Bloom stores. The center's future is uncertain. 

Dixie River Land Company has submitted rezoning Petition 2012-101 for a 4-1/2-acre parcel at the corner of Steele Creek Road and the new Shopton Road West to incorporate it into the Berewick Town Center. This parcel was not included in the original Berewick rezoning. The site can accommodate three buildings, which could include a pharmacy, restaurant, or other retail. Construction would occur after construction of the planned Harris Teeter grocery in the Berewick Town Center has begun.

Four other rezoning applications are expected soon.

One is on S Tryon St between the Gridiron Restaurant and Carolinas Medical Center - Steele Creek. Developers plan a convenience store and drive through restaurant on S Tryon St and a third building behind those. The third building could be a sit-down restaurant, medical office building, bank, or other retail or office use.

The second is at the corner of York Road and Grand Palisades Parkway. The Palisades Master Plan called for offices at this location. However, one 2-1/2 acre parcel was not part of the original rezoning. The petition will incorporate this parcel into the office use area.

Tanger OutletsTanger Outlets of Greensboro recently announced plans to build a 350,000 square foot, open-air shopping mall at I-485 north of Steele Creek Road.  (See Release.) The center will feature over 90 popular designer and brand name stores. The site was rezoned in 2011 to allow a mixture of office, retail, and industrial flex uses. (See Petition 2011-011.) The change in use, plus the addition of several small parcels to the project, will require additional rezoning.

Tanger is developing the outlet project in conjunction with Childress Klein Properties and Steele Creek Limited Partnership, a major owner of land in Steele Creek created by Charlotte civic leader Sarah Belk Gambrell, who will be developing ancillary uses surrounding the outlet center.

The center will be at the northern end of the property, near Shopton road (formerly Dixie River Road) next to I-485. It will be visible from southbound I-485 before the Steele Creek Road exit. Several sit-down restaurants will be built along the new Dixie River Road, which will be widened to four lanes. The parking lot will sit between the restaurants and the mall.

The southern end of the property at Steele Creek Road will have a hotel, restaurant, and other retail and office uses.

The whole project includes $110,000,000 in new development. It will require 6 to 7 million dollars worth of road work, including the extension of Berewick Commons Parkway to the new Dixie River Road and traffic signals and additional lanes at both I-485 exit ramps on Steele Creek Road. The developer will pay for the road work with some reimbursement from public funds. Although the mall will generate additional traffic, it is comparable to what would be expected with the current approved uses.

Completion of the initial 350,000 square-foot mall is expected in 2014, but the site has room for a 50,000 square foot mall expansion.

This project also will require rezoning of a small site along I-485 north of Arrowood Road to allow construction of a billboard. Without this billboard, northbound traffic would not be aware that they would need to take the next exit to go to the outlet mall. Without the billboard, the project will not be built.

As with the larger Concord Mills Mall northeast of Charlotte, many of the customers for the Tanger Outlet mall will come from outside Charlotte, bringing in sales tax and other revenue for the community. It would be conveniently located between I-85 and I-77 for tourists. It will generate over 900 jobs in addition to several hundred temporary construction jobs. The outlet mall is not expected to compete with the Berewick Town center across Dixie River Road.

However, the Tanger News Release states that "This news release contains forward-looking statements...These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, and therefore, actual results could differ materially from those projected." Not all rezoning leads to the development planned. However, if Tanger is successful, this mall will have a major impact on the future of Steele Creek.

Finally, RiverGate plans an expansion to the south of the current center.  (See RiverGate Plans Expansion, November 20, 2011.) Property managers are in the last stages of negotiation with prospective tenants. Once details are ironed out, construction will begin.

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