Major Providence Road retail development getting mixed reactions

by: Paige Hansen Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A proposed south Charlotte development that has not yet been approved by the city is drawing mixed reaction.

"Waverly" hopes to transform nearly 90 acres of mostly empty land off Providence Road between Golf Links Drive and Chancelot Lane into a mixed-use development. 

On its website, Waverly said it will be a new multi-use, pedestrian-friendly community with shops, offices, a hotel and apartments.

"What I do know is it's going to bring a lot more traffic to this area," said Melissa Douglas, a concerned resident who lives nearby.

According to a review by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department, the area, which is now zoned as a residential area, currently allots for 2,600 trips per weekday, based on the traffic that comes into and out of the area. The proposed zoning would increase that amount nearly eight times a projected 19,400 trips per weekday.

"Growth will occur and traffic will increase and what this petition does is give us an opportunity on a large site to make sure the development that happens, happens in a way that can adequately accomodate the traffic and disperse it over a large street network," Mike Davis, the CDOT development services manager said.

In an email to Eyewitness News, Chris Thomas, a developer with Childress Klein working on the Waverly project said, "While the number of trips may increase, the road improvements we are making effectively mitigate that increase." Thomas said the developers will make an estimated $5 million dollars of road-related improvements.

The city said it is contemplating a new traffic signal and expanding Providence Road. Davis said the city is working on a traffic study with the state.

"Normally in the morning it gets really backed up, so I can't imagine eight times what we've got," Tricia Norris, a concerned neighbor said.

Douglas says the existing shopping center across the street from the proposed site is enough for the area.

"I think we're fine with what we have, but that's OK, I know cities have to grow and it's growing a lot here in south Charlotte," Douglas said.

The developers asked that a hearing scheduled for Monday night's City Council meeting be delayed until next month.

Developers said if the project is approved and things go according to plan, they hope to break ground by late summer.

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