With silver shovels and red dirt, officials broke ground Wednesday morning for Waverly, the 90-acre, mixed-use development on Providence Road just south of I-485.
Construction is already underway on the development, which will include a Whole Foods, Hilton Garden Inn, restaurants, shopping, apartments and houses.
Childress Klein and Crosland Southeast are behind the project, one of the largest mixed-use developments underway in Charlotte. Crosland Southeast partner Peter B. Pappas said the land had been under contract years ago, but the economic downturn delayed plans.
“We didn’t move forward because of something called the Great Recession,” said Pappas.
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So far, Waverly is about 50 percent pre-leased, and Pappas said he expects the development to be almost fully leased when the retail starts to open next year. The apartments, by Terwilliger Pappas, are already going up, wood skeletons on the red clay. And the medical office is set to open later this year.
Charlotte City Council member Ed Driggs, who represents the area, said the $200 million development is expected to generate about 1,000 jobs.
Besides Whole Foods, the development will include the following retail tenants, according to a list provided Wednesday: Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, Chuy’s, Chipotle, Novanta Pizzeria Napoletana, Dressler’s Concept, Ted’s Montana Grill, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Firehouse Subs, Modern Salon & Spa, Polished Nail Bar, UltraSkin Wax Center, Ivy & Leo, Quail Dry Cleaners, Novant Health, and Truliant Credit Union. Outparcels will be occupied by CVS, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s and Quik Trip.
Waverly isn’t the only development nearby: Crescent Communities is planning a 72-acre mixed-use development on adjacent land, and Lincoln Harris plans to redevelop the defunct Charlotte Golf Links across the street into a new, 194-acre mix of houses, apartments, schools, office and retail.
Changing times, more traffic
Mayor Dan Clodfelter remembered bicycling along the roads in south Charlotte when he moved to the city almost 40 years ago.
“I could bike for an entire day on a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon and see a handful of cars,” said Clodfelter. Now, as ever more development rolls through the area, that’s definitely not the case. “It’s come a very long way.”
Driggs, who represents the area, said he knows that some residents are worried about the impact large new developments such as the trio at Providence and Ardrey Kell will have on traffic.
“I have to acknowledge there’s some anxiety on the part of people in the area,” said Driggs. But he said officials are working on improving roads in the area, such as Ardrey Kell. And Driggs said increased property values and amenities, including popular stores such as Whole Foods, mean the developments are positive for the area.
Frank Matthews, whose family long owned the Waverly land as part of a farm, reminisced about parties he threw there after football games while he was a student at Davidson College. Alcohol was banned on campus at the time, and the then-remote land on Providence Road was a good alternative party spot.
“We decided to use the farm here without my father being aware of it,” Matthews said.
Matthews also recalled the role real estate developer John Crosland Jr. played in the development. Crosland, who died this weekend at 86, got to know Matthews at Davidson and advised him on what to do with his family’s land.
“We consulted about this land many times,” said Matthews, who called Crosland a great friend and “one of the finest men to ever come by Charlotte.”
“It’s a bittersweet day for me, because John Crosland will be buried this afternoon,” said Matthews.
The mixed-use development will include:
▪ Up to 250,000 square feet of retail space anchored by Whole Foods, expected to open next year
▪ A 60,000-square-foot medical office anchored by Novant Health, set to open later this year
▪ Two five- or six-story office towers, with 300,000 square feet of office space.
▪ 150 single-family houses and townhouses by David Weekley Homes, with construction starting this fall.
▪ 375 Solis-brand upscale apartments by Terwilliger Pappas. Peter A. Pappas said units should be available by the spring.
▪ A 141-room Hilton Garden Inn developed by Naman Hotels. The hotel will be on top of retail space, and will include a rooftop pool.