While developers Childress Klein and Howard Hughes Corp. still aren’t ready to release a construction timetable for the Bridges at Mint Hill, they are continuing to work on the infrastructure.
Bridges at Mint Hill is a large shopping complex proposed for the area along Lawyers Road near the Interstate 485 interchange.
Meetings between Mecklenburg County officials and representatives of the developers were held recently to firm up plans for a regional lift station to be built on Lawyers Road south of the mall site. The lift station is necessary to pump sewage from the area.
Childress Klein’s Chris Thomas says the station will serve much more than the planned shopping center.
“This lift station will serve our projects and 2,100 acres in the Goose Creek Basin. It’s good for us, but also for the other property owners,” Thomas said.
Mint Hill Town Manager Brian Welch said that’s good news for the town.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to provide additional sewer service to go along with the additional water capacity provided by the lifting of the moratorium on the Inter Basin Transfer in the Goose Creek Basin,” Welch said.
Because the endangered Carolina heelsplitter freshwater mussel was found in Goose Creek, there had been a moratorium on additional water lines in the area for the past 10 years. Mint Hill has spent almost a decade creating and getting approval for a plan that would protect the heelsplitter while allowing development.
That plan finally was accepted by state officials; the moratorium was lifted last year, and now new water and sewer service can be run to the Goose Creek Basin.
In May, the Charlotte City Council approved Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities’ reimbursable sewer contract with Bridges at Mint Hill LLC, a subsidiary of Howard Hughes Corp., for construction of piping and a regional pump station to serve the Goose Creek Drainage Basin.
The basin is bounded roughly by Lawyers Road, Matthews Mint-Hill Road, Fairview Road and Allen Black Road just east of I-485. It also includes a portion of Thompson Road.
The contract calls for Bridges at Mint Hill LLC to finance the $3.3 million lift station, then be reimbursed $3 million by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities over five years. The money is budgeted in CMU’s 2015-19 Utility Community Investment Plan.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities and developers currently are hammering out the final details of the contract. Thomas said he expects construction on the lift station to begin next spring and for the station to come online in late 2016.
“This lift station is a part of the critical path necessary for us to be able to move forward with the project,” he said. “We feel good about this progress. It’s necessary for us to have this infrastructure in place when we get ready to build.”