This story appeared Sunday in some of the Observers regional publications.
A developer is now recruiting tenants for a shopping center planned at the intersection of new N.C. 16 and N.C. 150 in southeastern Catawba County, following the countys approval of sewer lines for that fast-growing area.
Crosland Southeast will begin construction on 92 acres in the southeast corner of the interchange as soon as it has signed enough tenants, said Austin Williams, a partner.
Now that there is some certainty (about sewer service) in that region, we are ready, Williams said. It was impossible to build a shopping center in that largely rural area without sewer lines, county officials said.
The first businesses could open in three to four years, he said, and may include a movie theater. Additional phases could be added over seven to 10 years, Williams said.
The sewer line extension and a bigger wastewater treatment plant will fuel growth in that area and make it an attractive area for Charlotte commuters, Williams said. The plant and lines should be complete in about two years.
That corner of Catawba County is the closest to Charlotte and is destined to lure more Charlotte workers, said Kitty Barnes, chair of the Catawba Board of County Commissioners.
The combination of new sewer service, existing water lines, the widening of N.C. 16 and the proximity to the western shore of Lake Norman will fuel construction of new homes, she predicted.
Many Catawba residents are now shopping in Mooresville, Barnes said, and the county looks forward to seeing those dollars spent closer to home.
We want to keep the sales tax here, she said.
Dianne Whitacre Straley of Hickory is a freelance writer for Gaston/Catawba News.
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