South Charlotte

Builder wants to add 44 townhouses in Ballantyne

Signaling a growing shift toward denser residential communities, a Charlotte-area developer recently requested city permission to build townhouses on a Ballantyne property zoned for single-family detached houses.

David Weekley Homes, based in Houston, wants to build as many as 44 townhouses on 5.5 acres on the north side of Endhaven Lane between North Community House Road and Misty Ridge Lane.

“We’ve seen an increase in multifamily (houses) being built ever since the end of the recession in 2010,” said Charlotte planner Solomon Fortune. “For a while, single-family was the craze, but now it’s gone toward multifamily.”

Mark Gibbs, division president for David Weekley Homes, said the company was attracted to the site because of its location. The North Community House Road bridge over Interstate 485 is expected to be completed soon, which will connect residents in the new townhouses to nearby shopping, dining and entertainment venues in the greater Ballantyne area.

Gibbs said being in the greater Ballantyne area also will make the townhouses popular among buyers.

“The Ballantyne location is one of the most active ZIP codes in the country,” he said, citing local job opportunities, high-end housing and recreational amenities nearby.

Gibbs said he also believes the new community will fill a demand in Ballantyne, which doesn’t have a lot of newer townhouse communities.

Units will include three to four bedrooms and will be two and three stories tall. Interior amenities will include 10-foot first-floor ceilings, open floor plans, two-car garages and granite countertops. Prices have not been finalized.

Townhouses are attractive to a lot of different buyers because they offer a more maintenance-free lifestyle.

“They want a lock and leave environment,” Gibbs said. “Someone takes care of the common areas so you can enjoy life and not have to worry about owning a lawnmower.”

Gibbs said the development will be one of David Weekley Homes’ largest new townhouse communities; some of the company’s other new communities feature five to 26 units.

Gibbs said the company has held two meetings with nearby residents in Misty Ridge and Rougemont to provide details on the project.

Gibbs said some of the feedback he received was that residents want a tree buffer preserved along the property line and to make sure existing stormwater issues don’t get worse.

Resident Alex Vuchnich of nearby Orchid Hill said his neighbors and he have known for a while that the property likely would be targeted for townhouses.

“I do not think that townhomes there would be a problem for density, though,” he said.

The zoning public hearing is set for Nov. 17, with the City Council expected to make a decision in December.

Should the zoning change be approved, Gibbs said, he expects to break ground on the project next summer and begin construction next fall or winter. He said residents could move in by 2016.