Plans for outlet mall could bring more development to southwest Charlotte

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A major retailer has big plans for a part of Charlotte that hasn't seen as much development as planners thought.

Tanger Outlets wants to build an outlet mall off Interstate 485 and Highway 160 in Steele Creek.

Roger Palmer has lived in Steele Creek for 20 years and has seen big plans come and go.

“We’ve been told there would be townhouses. That never came. We were told a day care, and that didn’t come to pass,” Palmer said.

But on Thursday, he learned about the biggest plan yet.

Tanger Outlets is planning a 350,000-foot outlet center off Trojan Drive at Highway 160 and I-485.

When the highway was built, a stretch of I-485 in Steele Creek got three lanes, with planners assuming it was the next boom area.

The Ayrsley development at South Tryon has blossomed, but the rest of the corridor is still mostly forests and fields.

The outlet mall could change that. A Tanger spokesman said they typically attract other retail and restaurants.

And it’s not just the mall. A developer is trying to rezone 43 acres across the highway for an industrial office park.

City Council member Lawanna Mayfield, who represents the area, spoke to Eyewitness News on Thursday.  She said she's focused on jobs.

“It could bring 300 to 400 in construction and 600 employment opportunities between full- and part-time positions,” she said.               

Some neighbors are excited.

“I think it’s a great idea,” one area resident said. “I would be for it.”

Some others, like Palmer, have concerns.

“The roads out here have been improved some, but there will be a lot of traffic,” he said. “I don’t know if they can handle that or not.”

This is just a proposal right now. Tanger would have to apply for rezoning on the land before it can build, and City Council has to give final approval.

If that all happens, it could be open in 2014.