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Work On $250M Lakefront Resort Near Charlotte Could Start This Spring

Wed January 11, 2023 - Southeast Edition
Charlotte Observer

Construction of the $250-million Sunset Cove hotel resort could now start in the second or third quarter of this year and finish in about four years. (Rendering courtesy of FMK Architects)
Construction of the $250-million Sunset Cove hotel resort could now start in the second or third quarter of this year and finish in about four years. (Rendering courtesy of FMK Architects)

Town commissioners in Mooresville, N.C., voted Jan. 3 to annex 15½ acres on Lake Norman where a Charlotte developer is planning to build 283 condominiums and the popular lake's first waterfront hotel.

Construction of the $250 million Sunset Cove hotel resort could now start in the second or third quarter of 2023 and finish in about four years, developer Brett Krueger told the Charlotte Observer Jan. 4. The property is across from the corporate headquarters for Lowe's Home Improvement in southern Iredell County, and offers western sunset views along 1,500 ft. of waterfront, he said.

The site is beside two existing hotels, the Tru by Hilton Mooresville, and the Aloft Mooresville, Krueger added.

He told the Mooresville Board of Commissioners last fall at the property's rezoning hearing, that besides the brick and stone exterior condominiums, the Sunset Cove project will include a "boutique upscale" hotel with a restaurant and a spa, plus waterfront space for weddings and other events.

In speaking with the Observer, Krueger said he may convert about 100 of the condos into Airbnbs, thus adding to the hotel's size.

The developer originally envisioned the project as an 82-room luxury hotel in 2019, before downscaling it to be a smaller hotel, featuring 30 or 35 rooms. He also decided to move ahead with building the condos first, Krueger explained, but the Mooresville commissioners rejected his request because they wanted to see a site plan first. When he provided that, the Board approved the project's rezoning in September.

The commissioners also agreed Jan. 3 to extend water and sewer to the site at Alcove Road and Culbreth Lane.

The boutique hotel and condominium buildings will rise just north of the LangTree Lake Norman mixed-used community, which is off Interstate 77's Exit 31. Krueger's condos will be in buildings up to four stories tall, according to town planning documents.

The resort, by Krueger's Sunset Cove Partners LLC, "would rival a master planned development in Florida," he said during a public hearing last year.

"People love the kinds of projects we do, because we put so much detail into it," Krueger noted.

His company also has developed The Ivey's Hotel in uptown Charlotte, and the Windsor Boutique Hotel in Asheville.

Traffic Concerns Delay Decision On Another Project

Mooresville commissioners also cited the town's traffic-clogged roads in delaying a decision on another massive, proposed lakefront community.

Board Commissioner Lisa Qualls said, "[The North Carolina Department of Transportation] is failing us" in expanding overburdened state roads in the town, "and we're stuck holding the bag."

Developers affiliated with the LangTree at the Lake mixed-use community off I-77 have said the large development would offer rare public access to Lake Norman through a multi-use shoreline greenway.

The proposed development on state-maintained Transco Road would include 353 multifamily units, 136 townhomes and 90 duplexes, according to Estes McLemore of LIV Development in Birmingham, Ala., in a rezoning application he filed with the Mooresville Planning Department.

The heavily wooded 96.79-acre site lies south of Langtree Road and is bounded to the south and east by Lake Davidson, and by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp. to the west.

"This development will provide public access to Lake Norman, which is one of the main goals in the One Mooresville Land Use Plan," LIV Development officials wrote in their rezoning application.

A 10-ft. greenway multi-use path "will run the entire length of shoreline of our project," about 7,685 ft., the developers wrote in their proposal, adding it "will give our residents and the entire public access to the lake that they currently do not have."

The presence of so many high-priced homes ringing the shoreline prevents most people from enjoying Lake Norman in that part of Mooresville.

Town Commissioner Thurman Houston made a motion to approve the rezoning because of the promise of better lake access. His fellow commissioner, Bobby Compton, seconded the motion, the Observer reported.

Most importantly, LIV Development noted, LangTree at the Lake would build a major $8 million public road extension through the entire site. The new road would extend Langtree Campus Drive to the future Mooresville East West Connector Road, further opening the area to development.

But several commissioners said Mooresville traffic is already horrendous enough and were set to vote against the project when Houston agreed to pull his motion.

The Board will continue the hearing April 3 to allow staff time to determine a more definite timetable for the East West Connector Road.

New Huntersville Hotel Brands Revealed

A Georgia developer on Jan. 3 announced the brand of two hotels he plans to build totaling 109 rooms on vacant land at 16221 Northcross Drive in Huntersville, between Charlotte and Mooresville.

The Observer reported that the Northcross Hotel project would include a Fairfield Inn and a TownePlace Suites extended-stay hotel, according to developer Hitesh Patel. His Augusta, Ga.-based Hotel Ventures Inc. unveiled its plans to the Huntersville Board of Commissioners during a rezoning hearing.

Patel noted that the hotels would have about the same number of rooms and are being constructed to meet strong demand, adding that the Marriott-brand hotels "come with a lot of stringent standards."

His 40-year-old family company is behind the building of more than 20 hotels in the United States, including the SpringHill Suites by Marriott in The Park in Huntersville.

To protect neighboring homes from any light pollution generated by the two new hotels, Patel's representatives told the Charlotte news source that they plan to install a 124-ft.-tall vegetative buffer. The evergreens between the hotel parking lot and adjacent homes and businesses, they said, will keep lighting visible only within the property boundaries.

The board will vote on the rezoning at an upcoming meeting.

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