After six weeks of demolition, design and permitting, the sinkhole in the 365-family Antiquity development is “on its way back up,” Antiquity developer Cam Finley said.“It’s been a long and detailed process of multiple engineers working with the town to determine the cause and formulate the process for reconstruction,” Finley said. A 20-foot-tall retaining wall, utility lines, earth-filling, curbing and paving will take just a few more weeks to complete, and then Old Canal Street in Cornelius can reopen, Finley said.The town is still trying to determine what caused the sinkhole, Assistant Town Manager Andrew Grant said. The town has engineers on site working with the developer’s engineers on the project, he added. Finley told the Observer he will have sunk about $250,000 into the project by the time it’s complete. He said it’s impossible to determine how deep the sinkhole is in the Earth. But, he said, “we dug out over 25 feet to get to firm-enough soil to build the wall.”Despite the sinkhole, he said, building continues “at a rapid pace” in the development, with at least 30 homes under construction. Most of the homes are presold by the five builders in the community, Finley said.All of the approximately 550 single-family lots are either built upon or under contract to sell, Finley said. Finley praised the work of the community’s builders – Cunnane, Ryan, Meeting Street, MI Homes and Landis Reed – and announced that a new supermarket will be announced in Antiquity soon. The “quality grocer” is known to attract quality eateries, smaller boutique stores and other services and offices, he said.The Cornelius Planning Board on June 10 voted 6-0 to recommend that the Cornelius Board of Commissioners approve a drive-through for the grocer’s pharmacy and increase the size of the grocery store from the previously approved 35,000 square feet to 53,000 square feet.The Cornelius Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider the requests at its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. July 22 at Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Ave.Antiquity residents in the crowd said the grocer is Harris Teeter, but Harris Teeter spokeswoman Catherine Reuhl Becker declined to say whether the company plans to open a store in Antiquity.When Planning Board Chairman Brian Simmons asked those in the crowd who favored the drive-through pharmacy and increased size of the grocery store to stand, virtually everyone stood. Simmons counted about 35 people standing, most of them from the Antiquity development. Three Antiquity residents also spoke in favor of the plans to the board, and none spoke against them.Finley said the unnamed grocer is known to attract boutique shops beside it, and his plans include one- or two-level brick-facade boutique shops beside the brick-facade grocery store and, eventually, a parking deck.The design of the planned store shown at last week’s Planning Board meeting is identical to the brick building that houses the Harris Teeter off Interstate 77 Exit 30 in Davidson, Antiquity residents noted to the Observer.Finley said Antiquity will ultimately house about 1,000 families and include an art center, a 10-foot-wide multi-purpose trail and a train platform for the planned Red Line commuter rail project. Work on a final financial plan for the $452 million Red Line Regional Rail project from Charlotte to southern Iredell County has been on hold for nearly a year, pending a study of whether the line can support both commuter and freight trains.Norfolk Southern, which owns the “O” line on which the commuter trains would operate, proposed the study last year to make sure the line would still be able to accommodate existing freight traffic and the company’s plans to expand freight in the future.
Friday, Jun. 14, 2013
Cornelius sinkhole saga nears its end
Marusak: 704-987-3670; on Twitter @ jmarusak.
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