South Charlotte

Mixed-use complex proposed near I-485

Developer Steve Sanders wants to build apartments and offices on 20 acres at the corner of Idlewild and Stallings roads, next to the Interstate 485/Idlewild Road interchange.

The back of the property borders I-485.

Sanders first must get the land's zoning classification changed from residential to mixed-use development. At a public hearing Sept. 12 on the proposed change, Sanders, a representative of the Sandstone Group, told Matthews commissioners the project has been a long time in the making and will be built to the highest standards.

"We've owned this site for almost nine years. Matthews is our backyard, and we're not going to build something that we can't look at years from now and be proud of," he said.

Sanders said the 274 apartments, in several three- and four-story buildings, would be designed to appeal to young professionals and empty-nesters. Most units would be one and two bedrooms, so he doesn't expect many families with children to be interested.

Two buildings on the perimeter of the complex would house 40,000 square feet of office space.

Sanders has worked with HAWK, the local chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Foundation, to preserve as much green space and build as wildlife-friendly as possible. As a result of a traffic study by Kimley-Horne, Sanders also has offered to install several turn lanes on Idlewild and Stallings roads, and possibly help finance a traffic signal at the intersection if the N.C. Department of Transportation will agree.

Commissioners appeared lukewarm to the plan, showing concerns about the height of the buildings, the higher density, the unlikely mix of office and apartments, construction materials and other issues.

Only two residents spoke during the public hearing - one for and one against the zoning change.

The Matthews Planning Board will consider the request at its Sept. 26 meeting and will bring a recommendation to commissioners Oct. 10.

In other business, commissioners:

Held a public hearing on a request by Liberty Healthcare to revise its site plan at 2001 Moore Road. Liberty wants to change the proposed two-story skilled nursing care building to one story with a larger footprint. Several driveways would be realigned.

Approved $70,000 in tourism grant requests to local nonprofits.

Contracted with Kerestan Realty to be the management firm for town-owned property at 147 Freemont St.