This article was originally published by The Charlotte Observer on June 19, 2017.
Charlotte City Council on Monday night approved a major new development straddling the Mecklenburg and Cabarrus county line, a project that will bring hundreds of new residences, a hotel, office space, shops, restaurants and a movie theater to a vacant patch of land.
Called Farmington, the project by Charlotte-based MPV Properties is the latest “town center”-style development with a mix of uses planned for an area that’s long been more suburban. Such projects, similar to Baxter Village in Fort Mill and Birkdale Village in Huntersville, are popping up all around the city’s periphery at Interstate 485 interchanges, as developers try to build more walkable, urban-like communities in the suburbs.
Farmington will be located north of Rocky River Road, just east of the Interstate 485 interchange. The project includes 77 acres in Mecklenburg, with the remainder in Cabarrus, in the town of Harrisburg.
When it’s fully built, the development could include 300 townhouses, 275 apartments, 120 age-restricted residences for “active seniors,” a 120-room hotel, a 14-screen movie theater, 200,000 square feet of shops and restaurants and 160,000 square feet of office space, including medical offices.
The developers expect to break ground on the project in 2018.
“We’ve been working on it for about a decade,” managing partner James Merrifield previously told the Observer. “There’s a lot of quality housing in Harrisburg. The population’s built up, and there’s more of a need for services.”
Charlotte planning staff estimate that the portion of the development inside the city’s jurisdiction will add about 13,510 vehicle trips per day to the area’s roads. That’s a big increase from the undeveloped site, which now doesn’t generate any traffic.
To handle the increase, the developers are planning to build a network of streets throughout the development, as well as widening Rocky River Road west of 485, extending Farmington Ridge Parkway to Caldwell Road and improving various intersections.
By Ely Portillo