After laying out $15 million for real estate, construction and road improvements in the middle of Mint Hill, developer Stiles Corp. finally will start seeing some return on its investment.
The new 49,000-square-foot Publix grocery store, the main tenant, opened Jan. 7 at 6828 Matthews-Mint Hill Road in the Mint Hill Commons Shopping Center.
Publix spokesman Dwaine Stevens said the store has about 150 employees, 100 hired locally.
The entire project includes the main Publix building, with two additional commercial buildings attached and two out-parcels, each with five storefronts. There also is an additional out-parcel that Stiles plans to develop with a Zaxby’s restaurant.
More than 100 homes are planned behind the new complex, between Mint Hill Commons and the Farmwood East subdivision.
As part of the project, Stiles was required to make extensive road re-configurations on N.C. 51 and Lawyers Road. Several center medians were installed along N.C. 51, crosswalks were added and driveways on both sides became right-turn only.
Stiles also was required to install a traffic signal at Brighton Park Drive and extend that road across N.C. 51, around the Publix property, then connect it to Lawyers Road.
The town of Mint Hill contributed $150,000 for the signal mast-arm and crosswalks, but Stiles paid the remainder.
Mint Hill Town Manager Brian Welch said that once construction is complete he expects Stiles to petition the town to take over the street, and it will become a public road.
Mint Hill police say the new traffic patterns seem to be working well.
“We haven’t had an increase in wrecks so far,” said Mint Hill Police Lieutenant John Rowell. “But Publix wasn’t open yet. It could be a different story in the next couple of months as the businesses there continue to open and the traffic increases.”
Traffic across the street in the Brighton Park Shopping Center also is expected to increase soon, when a Jersey Mike’s Sub Shop and a Sherwin Williams Design Center, currently under construction, are complete.