Growth isn’t just booming in Charlotte: A new community is popping up across the river

Photo of a custom house at McLean.
Photo of a custom house at McLean.

There’s plenty of attention paid to dense new developments in Charlotte and on the city’s edges, but a big community is taking shape across the river in Belmont.

That’s where McLean, a 670-acre, master-planned development on Lake Wylie, is opening new phases and putting more homes on the market. The development, which started construction in 2016, has sold about 80 houses in the last year – roughly a tenth of the total planned.

On the shores of the lake, earthmovers are clearing and grading lots. Prices vary widely by neighborhood, with some houses on smaller lots in the $400,000 range and larger, lakefront homes selling for more than $2 million.

“The market is discovering the incredible beauty of this property and its appealing location,” said Steven Hinshaw, McLean’s developer. The area is adjacent to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, and parts of the lakefront around McLean are protected by permanent conservation easements. The land was formerly part of the Daniel Stowe estate, and walking trails are planned to run between the gardens and the development.

Hinshaw said the neighborhood is about a 30 minute drive from uptown Charlotte (when traffic cooperates) and buyers have ranged from older people looking to move out of a big house they once shared with their kids to aviation professionals who work at the airport.

“You get across that river, and you just exhale,” Hinshaw said.

The next neighborhood, Overlake, is set to open model houses this spring by builders Shea Homes and Evans Coghill.

Next up: Some commercial space. A restaurant called Seven Oaks Café is planned to open later this year in the historic John Davidson McLean house that has been the sales center thus far. The parent company of Belmont restaurant String Bean will operate that restaurant, which is the first commercial space developed in the community.

Nearby, on the waterfront, a 300-slip marina is planned, with dry-docking. Future development off Armstrong Road could accommodate more commercial space and neighborhood services, such as shops and eateries. The plan also includes a 10-acre park, which will be owned by the town of Belmont.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo