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810-home lakefront Belmont development planned

Real estate investors are planning an 810-home, 670-acre development in Gaston County on a largely undeveloped peninsula just outside Belmont.

The project, which would cover five miles of Lake Wylie shoreline, was first shown to Belmont’s planning and zoning board last week. The land is the former home and cattle farm of Daniel Stowe and is next to the 380-acre Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.

It’s the second planned development for the tract of land at South New Hope Road and Lower Armstrong Road in the last five years: A previous, 1,900-home, mixed-use development fell through during the recession.

“It is certainly the biggest since the recession” in Belmont, said assistant city manager Adrian Miller.

The land for the proposed development must be annexed by the city of Belmont and needs utility service.

The annexation process is expected to start next month at the Sept. 3 Belmont City Council meeting, and could conclude by November, Miller said.

The earliest the project could win rezoning approval is the Nov. 4 council meeting.

New York-based Northwood Investors, a $3 billion real estate investment and management firm, is behind the development.

The company also bought The Vue Charlotte, an uptown building that was formerly condominiums, in foreclosure last year. The company converted The Vue to apartments.

“This is an opportunity to invest in a parcel of land that simply cannot be replicated,” said Steven Hinshaw, a Charlotte-based development partner affiliated with the project, in a statement.

“We look forward to creating a community that is friendly to the environment, offering generous open space, access to the lake and active recreation areas.”

Dealing with pollution

Sediment pollution has been an issue on Lake Wylie. Some homeowners say streams of runoff flowing from construction sites are to blame.

Miller said that the development will include required environmental protections to preserve water quality, such as buffer space along the waterfront.

He said the development could also use low-impact designs requiring less grading and less clearing, and includes open spaces and stormwater retention features.

Kara Newport, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s executive director, said the proposed development is “in line with the vision” of the garden, and will be “low impact.”

Portillo: 704-358-5041; Twitter: @ESPortillo
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