Plans for Mint Hill mall still in limbo

by: Tina Terry Updated:

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MINT HILL, N.C. - Plans to build a regional mall in Mint Hill has been in limbo for nearly a decade. The Bridges at Mint Hill would be built on 22-acres of land near Interstate 485 and Lawyers Road.

Fraiser's Grocery is the only retail development you'll see off the exit now. However, the owner is anxious for more.

"We would just like to see the development of the mall," said Brenda Bills.

She remembers when the 800,000-square-foot mall was proposed back in 2003. It would sit on 215 acres of land and would be home to retail stores, a theater and a hotel.

"We've been looking forward to it for so many years," she said. "Here we are in 2013 and we haven't seen any update. We'd like to know, where is the mall?"

Mint Hill Town Manager Brian Welch said the project was given preliminary approval back in 2005, but there have been some setbacks.

"The economic downturn has certainly impacted the project," he said. "They've always been forthcoming with that."

He said the developers have assured the town the project will go forward, but he hasn't received its final site plans.

"I too have been told that an announcement is forthcoming and I'm looking forward to an announcement," he said.

Several times last week we reached out to developers Childress Klein Properties and to The Howard Hughes Corporation. A representative from Childress Klein Properties told Channel 9 that they're still working on the project and there should be an update in the next few weeks. Channel 9 didn't hear back from the Howard Hughes Corporation. Bills is hopeful she'll see construction before the end of the year.

"Absolutely, we need some growth," she said. "We have to drive 20-30 minutes to do any shopping. We'd like to have some shopping readily available. We'd just like to have something available for our residents."

The town manager said the project would more than triple the amount of food and beverage taxes the town collects.