Gaston County leaders are pushing for a new Catawba River bridge near West Boulevard, using a portion of the route approved in 2009 for the now defunct Garden Parkway, reports the Gaston Gazette.
The endorsements come at a time when that portion of Mecklenburg County is poised for a boom in growth, including a new River District development that has been likened to the Ballantyne community in southern Mecklenburg County.
The Gaston Gazette reports five Gaston County local governments, two chambers of commerce and a leading economic development group have all endorsed resolutions supporting construction of the Catawba Crossings project.
It would involve building a new river bridge just west of I-485, near the West Boulevard intersection and southwest of Charlotte Douglas International Airport, says the Gazette.
Charlotte City Council voted unanimously last month to approve the city’s biggest new development in at least two decades just west of the airport, setting the stage to bring millions of square feet of new office space, thousands of homes and hundreds of shops and restaurants to a quiet corner of the county.
The River District, as it’s known, will rise in an area that’s largely undeveloped and forested. Charlotte-based developers Lincoln Harris and Crescent Communities are partnering on the plan, which is expected to take 20 to 30 years to fully build out.
When it’s completed, the River District will include 8 million square feet of office space (about double the current size of Ballantyne Corporate Park), 500,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, 1,000 new hotel rooms and almost 5,000 new residences, including apartments, single-family houses and retirement units. The plan calls for keeping about 552 acres as open space, largely as buffers around sensitive streams that could be damaged by erosion.
Gastonia City Councilman Todd Pierceall told the Gazette that the developers are going to help Gaston County leaders get the new bridge and boulevard moved through the transportation funding process.