A Raleigh-based developer is moving forward with a long-stalled plan to build a residential neighborhood in the southeastern corner of Huntersville.
Planned for 85 acres of undeveloped land north of Hambright Road, the subdivision would include 200 single-family detached homes amid open space and recreational trails.
While construction is at least a year away, pending further approval, it is one of the first residential components of an expansive mixed-use development that are taking shape, said David Peete, a principal planner with Huntersville. The other projects underway are just south of where the subdivision is planned: a 300-unit apartment complex and about 80 adjacent townhomes.
The Bryton development stretches over some 500 acres near the intersection of Old Statesville and Eastfield roads. It is one of the biggest projects of its kind in the nation, according to one of the two developers behind it. In addition to the single-family homes, it calls for 2,300 multifamily dwellings and about 2.2 million square feet of industrial and retail space.
“The vision is a city within a city,” said Peete, who is overseeing the project for the town.
Envisioned by two real estate development companies with the help of the town, Bryton was planned to take shape over three decades.
It was approved by Huntersville more than 10 years ago, with the town rezoning much of the expanse for what is known as transit-oriented development. That zoning classification involves high-density development that would support various modes of transportation, such as a light-rail line, laying the groundwork for what Peete described as a “very aggressive” project.
Indeed, the site had undergone some $30 million in infrastructure improvements. Old Statesville Road, or N.C. 115, was widened. Hambright Road was extended, and a section of the existing rail line was realigned.
But it was shelved amid the 2008 financial crisis, with one of the companies relinquishing ownership of its share of the property, which covers the northern section and is designated for residential development.
The other company, Charlotte-based American Asset Corp., has retained ownership of the southern part, where commercial development is planned. The site’s first occupants, a McDonald’s restaurant and a Walmart store, arrived there over the past few years.
The northern section was bought in recent years by the company behind the subdivision, LStar Management LLC, which has proposed a number of projects, Peete said.
The subdivision was originally proposed in 2006. It has remained largely unchanged since the developer took control, though it does include considerably more open space. Among the features is a creekside greenway.
“Our plan saves more trees,” Scott Munday, division president for LStar Management, told commissioners at a regular meeting in early January. The board unanimously approved a revised sketch plan for the multi-phase project.
A preliminary plan awaits approval from town staff, with construction not expected to begin until at least early 2017, Peete said.
Meanwhile, preliminary construction work is underway at the site where the market-rate apartments and townhomes are planned, with the building of a new road running perpendicular to Hambright Road that will extend to the subdivision, Peete said.
Once that road is built, construction of the complex will begin, perhaps as soon as spring, he said. Construction of the townhomes is expected to start soon thereafter.
Jake Flannick is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org