Lake Norman & Mooresville

Planner previews changes coming to Cornelius in 2015

What big changes may be in store for Cornelius in 2015? Planning Director Wayne Herron was kind enough to let me in on some of what’s planned for our town.

In Magnolia Plaza, the Publix store is scheduled to open Feb. 4. Herron said he didn’t know of any other specific opening dates for the other new businesses there. But he said they should “open close to the same time.”

He confirmed that PetSmart would go into the large space parallel to Magnolia Estates Drive. Other than that, he has no official confirmation of any of the new businesses.

“They’re being very secretive,” Herron said. When the builder “pulls new permits, they have no (business) name on them.”

The businesses that are already there and are listed on the large Magnolia Plaza sign are staying.

From its Facebook page, what was Big Al’s Pub & Grubberia will become “Al’s Bar and Grille.” Herron confirmed the name change. Again from Facebook, the location will be at the very end, down from Publix. The restaurant is aiming at March 1 as its grand reopening.

I am particularly excited about the future Dunkin’ Donuts and Penn Station being built where the self-serve car wash used to be. Herron said the business “had some plans ready, but they’re waiting for permits.”

The plan is to have three shops in the complex, and the Dunkin’ Donuts will have a drive-through in the back. The prediction is that the shops will open in late spring or early summer.

Although some construction is going on inside the old Blockbuster Video location, there are no formal plans for anything in that space. There’s also nothing really planned for the rest of that Plaza.

For the old Salvation Army space, Herron said, “I know the property owner wants a tenant or offer to purchase,” but nothing has come through yet.

Construction should start soon on the new Harris Teeter in the Antiquity neighborhood, Herron said. Crews are finishing site work details and adding new utilities.

“It all should be finished this summer,” he said.

Herron also gave insight into two new construction projects that are in the very beginning stages of planning.

• Across from Publix on Magnolia Estates Drive, behind the Shell gas station, a new commercial space with 60,000 square feet of retail space and 298 residential units (not specified as to what these will be) is in the preliminary application stage.

“We’re waiting on a traffic study and architectural drawings before a public meeting can be scheduled,’ Herron said. He said he thinks that meeting will be near the end of February or the first of March. The area is slated to be called “Cornelius Grand.”

• Some single-family homes are to be built in a low-density development on Bailey Road.

“Those have an age restriction, for older folks,” Herron said. “Older folks,” he said, don’t affect schools or traffic, but they volunteer where needed and spend their money in town. It’s a “win-win-win for Cornelius,” he said.

Spring athletics

Here are some of the programs coming up. For information on these programs, contact the Cornelius PARC Department at 704-892-6031 ext.161 or visit

• Little League baseball for ages 4-12 and North Meck Philly League softball for ages 4-17.

• Men’s and co-ed softball for adults.

• Co-ed league softball for people age 50 and older.

• Youth lacrosse (recreational and competitive divisions).

• Soccer for age 4 and older and also for adults, provided by the Carolina Rapids.

• Tennis for youth and adults, through the Lake Norman Tennis Academy.

• Volleyball for girls ages 9-18.