South Charlotte

Dave Lyle upgrade gets approval

Rock Hill is moving forward with its $6 million makeover of the area surrounding the Rock Hill Galleria and Manchester Village along Dave Lyle Boulevard.

City Council members last week approved a resolution to make the area the center of a “landscape maintenance district,” in which business owners would ultimately pay for upkeep.

The proposed boundaries stretch west of Interstate 77 from John Ross Parkway to just short of Red River Road, east of the interstate.

According to the resolution approved Monday, the city would pay the estimated $137,000 it'll cost to keep the area manicured for the first year. After that, businesses within the boundaries would pay fees based on their property values.

The overall construction project, already under way, is a five-year effort by the city to turn the Galleria-Manchester area into an upscale shopping destination. It includes new sidewalks, fountains, lighting and a revamped Exit 79. Construction is expected to finish late next year, according to city documents.

The resolution approved July 14 is the latest addition. It deals only with the cost of maintaining the new landscape, such as trimming trees, cutting grass and irrigation.

Passing the resolution is the first step in the process to establish the district. The second is a public hearing at which city officials will receive comments from residents and business owners. Then the council would vote.

Planners have been meeting with business owners in the area since 2004 to discuss the venture, said project manager Phil Okey.

“We started to look for ways to help that entire area become a premier shopping destination,” Okey said. “Those guys (businesses) are in competition with Baxter Village, Birkdale ... and Ballantyne.”

The total project is expected to cost about $6.1 million. Parts of it, such as sidewalks, curbs and gutters on Galleria Boulevard and Springdale Road, have already been completed.

Here's what else is in the works:

Dave Lyle Boulevard will have enclosed storm water drainage and new curbs and gutters. Brick statues resembling small towers, which the town calls “identity markers,” will line the road.

Exit 79 will be “heavily landscaped” with new trees, shrubs and other plantings.

A public hearing for residents and business owners to comment on the landscape maintenance district is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 11 at City Hall.