Mooresville rejects Costco-anchored retail center at I-77, Exit 35

Cars fill the parking lot of a Costco store in Seattle.
Cars fill the parking lot of a Costco store in Seattle. AP

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners late Monday rejected plans for a Costco-anchored retail center off Interstate 77, Exit 35, saying the project doesn’t fit primarily residential Talbert Road.

After a 3  1/2-hour public hearing, commissioners voted 5-1 against a rezoning for the 41-acre project.

The exit at Brawley School Road was meant to help move traffic east-west across Mooresville, town commissioner Lisa Qualls said in making the motion to reject the development.

“That was not meant to be the next Exit 36,” Qualls said of the traffic-clogged interchange a mile north at N.C. 150. “To do the same would be insanity.”

The Brawley Crossing center on Talbert Road also would have included an Academy Sports + Outdoors and outparcels facing Talbert for smaller retailers.

The project’s developer, Hammerford Development Co. of Toronto, Canada, had promised $2.5 million to $3 million in improvements to Talbert and Brawley School roads.

The development would have meant an immediate combined 400 jobs from Costco and Academy Sports, a Hammerford representative told the commissioners Monday night. Those stores planned to open by summer or fall 2017, he said.

Those assurances didn’t appease most of the crowd of about 160 people packed into Mooresville Town Hall. Numerous speakers cited traffic and safety concerns and said the project would disrupt the residential character of their area.

“I think they did the right thing,” resident Don Boysel said after the board’s vote. “Our community is fantastic, and we want it to stay that way.”

Joe Marusak: 704-987-3670, @jmarusak