Lake Norman & Mooresville

Downtown Statesville is focus of development discussions

Three “very strong developers” have expressed an interest in downtown Statesville, members of a special redevelopment steering committee said.

That group was formed to create a redevelopment process for downtown Statesville, and the city council met with each of the developers on April 30 in a public meeting.

“There’s always going to be pros and cons with each project, so it’s important that city residents know the full story early on,” said Centralina Council of Government Executive Director Jim Prosser, who has assisted the city in the process.

The interviews were the next step in a process started more than a year ago.

The steering committee has been regularly meeting to analyze downtown’s status and its potential for development, research other communities and similar downtown projects, discuss marketing strategies, set goals and conduct focus groups.

Now the committee will review the answers they received last week and choose the developer who seems to fit best in their quest to develop property in downtown.

Preliminary indications are that some of the development companies are interested in the redevelopment of the historic Vance Hotel in downtown Statesville.

The stately, five-story 72,000-square-foot hotel welcomed many visitors from 1922 to 2008. The facility also served for a time as a retirement home, and was used in several major movies.

Once a developer is selected, they will enter into a preliminary development agreement with the city, according to Marin Tomlin, Downtown Statesville Development Corp.’s executive director. During this phase the developer will work with the city to prepare a detailed plan that includes a building program, and analysis of the site, market and finances, Tomlin said.

Prosser says this phase usually runs from six to nine months. He noted that the Streetscape project where downtown roads and sidewalks were rebuilt over the past several years caught the eye of several developers.

There have been other downtowns redeveloped using the same process.

Elk River, Minn., for example, is a similar size to Statesville, is almost the same distance from Minneapolis as Statesville is from Charlotte and displays a photo of its redeveloped downtown on its website.

Dave Vieser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Dave? Email him at davidvieser@gmail.com.

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