Land clearing begins at Langtree

Recent land clearing near Interstate 77 Exit 31 signals the start of development at the planned $1billion Langtree at the Lake mixed-use community on Lake Norman, a spokesman for the community said.

The clearing and grading that I-77 motorists see is for erosion control in the southwest quadrant of the development, Langtree spokesman Michael Haire said. The erosion control work is necessary before mass grading of the quadrant can begin, he said.

Construction of Langtree's first buildings is scheduled to start in the fall, said Haire, design and marketing director for Mooresville-based Langtree Development Co. LLC.

The developers of the planned 400-acre Langtree at the Lake partnered this year with a national real estate development firm to begin work on Langtree's first phase of luxury apartments, retail space and a 150-room major-chain hotel.

Langtree formed a joint venture with RL West Properties of Toledo, Ohio, which is infusing "tens of millions of dollars" into the project's first phase, said Barry Rigby, RL West Properties' executive vice president for development.

Mooresville developers Rick Howard and his son, Brad, have planned the commercial, residential and retail development for six years.

The project will include nearly four miles of waterfront and about two miles of I-77 frontage. John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts plans to build a 300-room Embassy Suites hotel and a 75,000-square-foot convention center in Langtree at the Lake in another phase.

The first phase will have six five-story buildings with first-floor retail. Langtree has commitments from various Mooresville area and national retailers but won't announce them until contracts are final, Rigby said. A parking deck, gas station/convenience store and clubhouse with a swimming pool are also part of phase one.

More N.C. 150 relief in sight

One of the town's most clogged stretches of road is about to get some relief.

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners voted 6-0 last week to award a $124,850 contract to build a turning lane from N.C. 150 eastbound that will feed onto the southbound Interstate 77 ramp at Exit 36.

Low-bidder Country Boy Landscaping Inc. of Harmony is scheduled to construct the lane by July 1.

The lane will be added just east of the Chick-fil-A restaurant at N.C. 150 and Rolling Hill Road.

The new lane will help alleviate longstanding backups along that stretch of N.C. 150, Mooresville commissioner Chris Carney said.

Country Boy Landscaping also was the low-bid contractor last year on a nearby, $149,812 project that added a right-turn lane on N.C. 150 into the Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse. That project also was directed at N.C. 150's chronic traffic snarls.

Classica Homes launches Robbins Park Village 2

Charlotte-based Classica Homes released 16 residential lots for sale on May 12 in the second phase of The Preserve at Robbins Park on West Catawba Avenue.

Homes in Robbins Park Village Two range from about $454,900 to about $543,900. The 23-lot phase one developed by former Charlotte luxury homebuilder Simonini Builders is nearly sold out.

Bill Saint, Classica's president and CEO, and other members of the Classica team started at the award-winning Simonini Builders, which closed at the end of 2010 in the face of a dramatic drop in the luxury home market.

Classica has collaborated with national leaders in the fields of architecture and land planning, including Atlanta architect Stephen Fuller and Bassenian Lagoni Architects of Newport Beach, Calif.

The private homes in The Preserve at Robbins Park are clustered in a 115-acre public park. Robbins Park features both natural areas and active areas with playing fields, developed by Cornelius and Mecklenburg County. A greenway connects to nearby Birkdale in Huntersville.

Details: 704-507-2907;

Town to build sidewalk to Brawley Middle

The town and the Iredell-Statesville Schools intend to share equally in the cost of building a sidewalk along Swift Arrow Drive, which the state is building as the new main access to Brawley Middle School.

The school's current main access, from Brawley School Road, is closing as part of the road's widening to four lanes.

The town wanted the state Department of Transportation to install the sidewalk along Swift Arrow Drive, but DOT regulations don't allow the department to build a sidewalk closer than 12 feet from the edge of pavement. Because of the slope of the bank beside Swift Arrow, DOT would be out of compliance with that requirement.

So to ensure that a sidewalk is built, the Mooresville Board of Commissioners voted unanimously last week to request that all control over Swift Arrow Drive revert to the town once the street is complete. The town can then build the sidewalk.

But the town will also have to figure out how buses and other school traffic will be able to turn left out from Swift Arrow across two lanes of oncoming traffic on Morrison Plantation Parkway, to then turn right onto Brawley School Road.

Mooresville commissioner Chris Carney said he's upset the state hadn't made any provisions for that eventuality. He said the town might have to use traffic control police there.