Charlotte City Council learned more about the Waverly project on Monday, March 17, which would bring a multitude of development to 90 acres at the corner of Interstate 485 and Providence Road – including a Whole Foods, other retail, commercial such as office and medical buildings and residential space.
Also, representatives with the Charlotte Golf Links site, which sits across Providence near the proposed Waverly site, said in a news release this week they were evaluating what to do with the 187 acres after the golf course ceased operating last week. Lincoln Harris, which developed Phillips Place and Birkdale Village, will do the analysis.
Monday’s public hearing on the Waverly project focused heavily on traffic issues in the area, as Providence has become burdened with residential growth in south Charlotte and commuters from Union County who use the thoroughfare to access I-485. The site in question currently is zoned for single-family homes, though is mostly vacant.
Mike Davis, with Charlotte Department of Transportation, spoke at the meeting about planned traffic improvements in the area. Developers Childress Klein and Crosland Southeast will add capacity at the I-485 outer loop exit onto Providence Road heading south toward the development. The developer also would pay for improvements at the Providence Road intersection with Golf Links Drive, where a traffic signal would be installed, and an additional northbound traffic lane would be added to Providence Road between Ardrey Kell and Providence Country Club heading north.
The site also includes an extension of Ardrey Kell Road, which would provide some traffic relief to development around Waverly and could reduce traffic on nearby McKee Road, Davis said.
Regardless of the improvements, there is still some concern about traffic on Providence Road if the undeveloped land becomes a 90-acre mixed-use development – not to mention what becomes of the closed golf course across the street.
“The traffic counts are tremendous here,” one person speaking against the Waverly development said Monday, adding he is concerned about stress the development would place on area infrastructure, saying it would add a 57 percent increase to traffic on Providence Road and burden Ardrey Kell Road.
Developers are confident the multiple access points and streetscape inside the site will alleviate traffic concerns, though not fix them. They also point out that nearby Providence Country Club has not submitted a protest petition against the project, saying that is one sign that “the vast majority of the community supports” the proposal, developer representative Jeff Brown said.
The project, which would include a plaza area for gatherings and walkability with area residential development, could become a place for families the come in the late afternoon and evening, Peter Pappas, with Crosland Southeast, said.
“We’ve worked hard to have a balance and mixture of uses that feed each other,” Pappas said of the multiple options planned for the area.
Council voted to approve two south Charlotte projects at this week’s meeting – the controversial Trotter Builders apartments at Endhaven Lane and North Community House Road, and an expansion for The Ivey adult day care center in SouthPark.
The 200-unit apartment complex will be built across Endhaven Lane from the British American School of Charlotte, and beside Endhaven Elementary School. Councilman Ed Driggs, who represents the area, voted in favor of the project while pointing out there are still some concerns about traffic and density in the area.
“On the traffic issue, I think area residents do have a point … I recognize that issue,” Driggs said. “I think we need to do more, generally in our part of town (Ballantyne) with all the developments going on, to anticipate traffic trends and deal with safety issues” as they arise. However, Driggs said he does not feel reducing the density of the project, which already was dropped by the developer from 220 units to 200 units, would help alleviate traffic issues.
The Ivey will add two licensed family care homes with a total of 12 beds for adults with memory loss beside its SouthPark center. The two new family care homes will add to The Ivey’s ability to help patients who need short-term, overnight care so their caregivers can have a few days to rest or travel, center representatives said in a recent interview.