South Charlotte

New zoning in Ballantyne would allow salon

A south Charlotte developer wants to change the zoning for 6 acres of property near Ballantyne to allow a hair salon and other neighborhood services, according to documents filed with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department.

Lenox Development Group has requested a change in zoning for 6.09 acres on the north side of Ardrey Kell Road, between Blakeney Heath Road and Community House Road. The land is across from Blakeney Preserve and currently is zoned for three single-family residential properties per acre.

Eric Vargosko, managing partner with Lenox Development Group, said the company wants to build three 10,000-square-foot buildings that will be complementary to the nearby Blakeney Shopping Center.

Vargosko said the impetus for the change in zoning was the desire to add a fifth location to Lenox Salons. The salon, which provides suites for advanced stylists, has locations in Ballantyne, Southend, Lake Norman and Birkdale.

“We were looking for a Blakeney location and this is a great site and a great location,” he said.

The salon targets stylists far enough along in their careers that they want out of the commission and typical booth-rental model, Vargosko said.

“We provide a high-end luxury environment and they essentially operate independently without the overhead of going and building or leasing out their own salon,” he said.

But the salon will need only about 5,000 square feet, Vargosko said. For the rest of the property, Lenox Development Group plans to lease space to potential businesses such as a boutique, coffee shop and deli.

Restaurant uses would be limited to 5,000 square feet, said city planner Sonja Sanders. The proposed building would be limited to one story, except for a tower element that may be 45 feet tall. Parking would be provided at one space per 200 square feet, Vargosko said.

Vargosko said he has talked with nearby residents, and most show a preference for a low-intensity commercial development like the one Lenox is proposing, instead of residential property.

Marian Ingram, who’s lived in Blakeney Preserve for nine years, agreed. “We’ve got retail all around us already anyways,” she said. “I don’t know if it would make a difference anyway.”

Ingram said the only concern she would have is traffic, especially on two-lane Ardrey Kell Road.

James Bryant, who has lived in Blakeney Preserve for five years, said he also would like to see a retail development on the site, especially if it’s filled with local businesses and restaurants.

“I’d like to see a restaurant row there, like small, family restaurants that cook the kind of food you’d have at home,” he said. “There are still some restaurants like that around, but nothing on this side of town that I know of.”

Vargosko said the company plans to open the first building – including the Lenox Salon – in June 2015. The rest of the $11 million project likely would be built out within two years.

The public hearing for the zoning petition is scheduled for Oct. 20, said Sanders. The Charlotte City Council is expected to make a decision at its Nov. 17 meeting.