CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A well-known church in Southpark is partnering with a developer to create a massive mixed-use property that will bring in new shopping, dining and living areas.
Sharon United Methodist Church sits at one of the biggest crossroads in Southpark, at Sharon Road near Fairview Road.
They now hope to create a spiritual crossroads as the only mixed-use church development in the South.
Rev. Kyle Thompson hopes his church will be the physical center of their lives.
“God has given us 7 acres in Southpark, which is just incredible, and we just began to ask ourselves, ‘Are we using it in the best way possible?’” Thompson said.
“Everything around it is changing and the church is incredibly wise to realize that,” said David Walters, an urban planner.
Architect and professor Walters said Southpark, including the mall, has grown in small separate pods with limited connectivity for drivers and pedestrians.
“You have to get on Sharon or Fairview (roads) and battle your way through eight lanes of traffic to get anywhere,” he said.
Adding the church development will create a walkable environment with multiple access points from major roadways, he said.
“This could be a real catalyst to continue the redevelopment of the Southpark area,” Walters said.
Church officials hope it will build their own congregation.
“It's going to allow us to have more people to come in contact with,” Thompson said.
Its famous roof, known to many as the ski slope, will still be incorporated in the new development.
Construction will start in 2016 and the 800 or so church members will move to a temporary worship center until it’s complete.
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