University City

Charlotte’s Northlake Mall area may be site for luxury apartments

The Northlake Mall area will be the future site of more than 400 luxury apartments if the City Council approves a proposed rezoning this fall.

Charter Properties has petitioned to rezone nearly 19 acres on the west side of Northlake Parkway from single-family residential and business park to urban residential conditional to “provide for the development of up to 416 multifamily residential units,” according to the zoning application.

The property, which is vacant, is near the intersection of Madison Square Place, Northlake Mall Drive and Northlake Parkway.

John Porter, senior vice president of Charter Properties, said if the approval process goes smoothly, the company hopes to break ground in 2014, and to make rentals available in early 2015.

Claire Lyte-Graham of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department said in an email that the rezoning process usually takes about four months. The request is under review by the planning staff, and their analysis will be available online the week before the 6 p.m. Sept. 16 public hearing. Lyte-Graham said City Council could make its decision Oct. 21.

Charter Properties has previously developed two other apartment complexes in the Northlake area: Long Creek Club and Longview Apartment Homes, both on Long Creek Club Drive, just south of W.T. Harris Boulevard off Reames Road.

“We had a great experience,” Porter said of the zoning process for those properties, both developed within the past five years. “We built a great product people are happy with. They’ve been very successful.”

Porter said the Northlake area was desirable for more multifamily development because of its proximity to retail, an interstate highway and access to public transportation. “We’ve seen the incomes and desire in that market increase,” Porter said.

If the rezoning is approved and the development moves forward, Porter said, the community will consist of luxury multifamily units. “For this kind of product, the average age is 35 to 40 years old.”

Porter said luxury communities such as these typically feature stone exteriors, pools, workout facilities and stainless steel kitchens, among other things.

“The clubhouse with all the things you’d get if you went to the (YMCA) you can get at the place where you live,” he said.

It’s still too early in the process to have floor plan specifics, Porter said, but the proposed community will likely feature one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 600 square feet to more than 1,200 square feet.

If the rezoning is approved, the development could have a density of 22 dwelling units per acre, Lyte-Graham said.

Charter has a third Charlotte property – Ridge at Highland Creek on Prosperity Ridge Road, northeast of the other two – as well as developments in Raleigh and Fort Mill, S.C.