The first phase of the Larkin Project, the largest development project in Statesville's history, advanced Monday as the City Council approved sketch plans for a 190-acre residential portion. When completed, the project will encompass a mix of residential, commercial and office developments on 908 acres in the southernmost section of the city east of Interstate 77 Exit 45.
“This is a remarkable project,” Planning Director David Currier told council members before the vote. “A tremendous amount of work has already been done by both the property owners GS Carolina, and the city staff to even reach this point.”
The plan approved by the council calls for 425 single-family homes, 82 townhomes and two lots reserved for future community centers.
Access for this phase will be from Amity Hill Road (Exit 45). A traffic-impact analysis has been conducted by the developer and submitted to the state for approval. Suggested improvements include turning lanes and traffic signals on Amity Hill Road, additional turn lanes on the Exit 45 ramps and traffic signals where each ramp intersects with Amity Hill Road.
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At the meeting, councilwoman Paula Steele indicated that she had thought the developer was going to submit the retail/commercial phase first for approval. However, in an interview after the vote, Tom Scott of GS Carolina said it was always their intention to start the residential section first.
“We have a supermarket and several other significant retailers interested in the project, but they want to see some rooftops going up first,” Scott said.
It is anticipated that the entire Larkin project will take between 10 and 15 years to complete. Plans call for a minimum of 3,700 residential units, a 500-unit hotel, 1 million square feet of retail, 300,000 square feet of office space and a 200,000-square-foot wellness center. The builder, GS Carolina, has pledged to maintain a minimum of 20 percent of the property, or about 181 acres, as open space.
A proposed three-mile north-south roadway that will dissect the development eventually will be the main corridor to and from Larkin. Provisions also will be made for a fire station and EMS station as well as a police substation within the development.
If the project stays on track, ground is expected to be broken sometime early next year, city officials said.