Lake Norman & Mooresville

Mooresville revels in racing, and more

The North Carolina Auto Racing Walk of Fame sidewalk contains images Hall of Fame NASCAR drivers.
The North Carolina Auto Racing Walk of Fame sidewalk contains images Hall of Fame NASCAR drivers. Observer file

It’s officially known as Race City USA. And while there are indeed a number of racing teams that have made Mooresville home, there’s a whole lot more in Mooresville.

A wide range of housing, including some in the multimillion dollar range, combined with excellent schools, a famous downtown, a mild climate and a robust retail strip have made Mooresville a popular destination for many families relocating not only from other parts of the state but also from the Northeast and Midwest.

The quality of the town’s two public school districts is especially attractive. The Mooresville Graded School District and the Iredell Statesville School District are considered to be strong performers, with students consistently scoring high on standardized tests.

All six schools in Mooresville west of Interstate -77 are in the Iredell Statesville School District, while the area east of the interstate is a mix. The district lines meander through southeastern Mooresville, leaving prospective homeowners with the task of knowing which district they live in should they have a preference. Few do, as local real estate agents indicate that they seldom get requests from prospective owners strongly requesting one district over the other.

The existence of two reasonably similar size, separate districts, while not unprecedented, is a bit unusual, the apparent result of the staggered development. A few years back, Scholastic Administrator Magazine named Mooresville Graded Schools as “the best district in the country.” Even President Barack Obama stopped by to commend the school district’s accomplishments.

Housing stock in Mooresville is also an attractive quality of this southern Iredell County town of more than 33,000 residents. On the peninsula that juts into Lake Norman, known as the Point, waterfront homes can run several million dollars. On the other side of town, some homes, originating from the days when mills built homes for their workers, run for less than $100,000.

Retail is also a big issue in Mooresville. The more recent growth has been on and around N.C. 150, where giants such as Belk, Lowe’s, Target and Walmart have launched successful operations. For those who prefer a more subdued atmosphere, downtown Mooresville is a prime example of how an old shopping district can be successfully renovated.

A mix of restaurants, clothing stores and professional offices keeps the old part of the town alive and vibrant.

Mooresville also lays claim to being the home community of Lowe’s Companies corporate headquarters. It’s a major commuter destination for thousands of workers from the town and also Charlotte, just 25 miles away.

Add Lake Norman Regional Medical Center, dozens of associated medical offices, and even a private airfield, and Mooresville does indeed have a lot to like.

Dave Vieser is a freelance writer.

Mooresville

Quick facts

Mooresville was incorporated in 1873 and has a population of nearly 35,000. It covers 14.7 square miles, including .04 square miles of water.

Government

Mooresville has a council-manager government, with a mayor and six town commissioners. Contact the town at 704-663-3800.

Schools: Mooresville Graded School District, 704-658-2530; Iredell-Statesville Schools, 704-872-8931

Police: Mooresville Police Department, 704-664-3311

Fire Department: Mooresville Fire and Rescue, 703-664-1338

History

Mooresville was settled by people looking for land to farm crops, namely cotton, and was a community known as Deep Well. When the town train depot was built, the name was changed to honor the man whose land it ran through, John Moore. Moore donated the land for its use as the community’s beginning, and the town of Mooresville was incorporated in 1873. The town grew up around the depot, and the railroad continued to bring growth, with textile mills and other businesses.

Things to do

Lake Norman and water sports are a huge draw for residents and visitors. For people who don’t want to get their feet wet, there are options for shopping at big department stores and smaller boutiques. There are many food options – pizza, delis, fine dining, local eateries and chain restaurants. For history buffs, there are several museums and NASCAR race shops, and for families there’s George Pappas Lanes with bowling, arcade and restaurant, The Pit Indoor Kart Racing, Amstar Cinemas, and Lazy 5 Ranch, a drive-through safari.

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