Development

Plans withdrawn for south Charlotte athletics, Olympics training facility

A rendering of the planned Olympic torch-shaped cell phone tower concealment at Jay M. Robinson Middle School.
A rendering of the planned Olympic torch-shaped cell phone tower concealment at Jay M. Robinson Middle School.

The U.S. Performance Center has withdrawn its plans to build a new athletics and Olympics-oriented training facility in south Charlotte, on the campus of Jay M. Robinson Middle School.

The plan had drawn opposition from some neighbors, who opposed the density and terms of the lease with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. City records show the rezoning request, necessary to allow construction of the facility, was withdrawn last week.

The U.S. Performance Center couldn’t immediately be reached for more information Monday, and CMS didn’t respond to questions. The company, founded by Ike Belk and David Koerner, currently operates out of a facility on Baybrook Lane in Charlotte.

CMS reached an agreement with U.S. Performance Center to lease the school facility for 50 years, at a cost of $1 a year. Jay M. Robinson would have continued to operate on the site, with the school’s students and staff able to use the training facilities for free.

The Performance Center would have been located on land currently occupied by Jay M. Robinson’s athletic fields, as well as adjacent, empty acreage. According to the company’s plans, it would have included a 60,000 square-foot building with an 18,000 square-foot weight room, a nutrition center, indoor sports dome with track and batting cages, baseball fields, basketball and tennis courts, outdoor fields and a fitness trail.

The facility would cover just under 50 acres, and would have included decorative touches such as an Olympic flame sculpture and a planned cell tower covering in the shape of a 200-foot tall Olympic torch with the iconic rings.

It’s possible that the developers could return with new plans for the site: A message sent to neighbors in July advised that a public hearing had been delayed because U.S. Performance Center was reevaluating its options.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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