Group holds workshops to answer questions, hear concerns from residents
By Jonathan E. Coleman
Developers of The Epic were in Harrisburg Town Hall last week for what they hope will become regular visits to meet with the community to answer questions about the project as it moves forward.
A $400 million project developed by ParkWest Stone, plans for The Epic include the construction of nearly 3,000 homes and 3 million square feet of commercial retail space as well as an 18-hole golf course. The total buildout is estimated at nearly 1,300 acres, most of which would be south and west of Morehead Road and extending into Mecklenburg County.
Formerly known as the Preserve at Greyson, developers revived the project last year, and in the coming months, residents will see renewed activity at the site, said Greg Mascaro, a consultant on the project.
With new activity, Mascaro said, it’s important to keep residents and other interested parties in the loop.
“We made a pledge to have more open dialogue with the public and this is our effort to do that,” he said. “This is a great thing to do for people who want to get involved, but it’s also a chance for people to get their questions answered.”
Developers had design concepts, draft site plans and arial maps to help give visitors an overall sense of the project.
Before the meetings took place, a 200-acre tract stretching across Morehead Road was the topic of some discussion last month as developers sought to have the property rezoned to higher density residential.
After neighbors, including officials from the adjacent Lowe’s Motor Speedway property, objected to the idea, the rezoning petition was withdrawn. Mascaro said new plans call for developing based on the current one-unit-per-acre zoning restrictions.
Upcoming progress at The Epic will center around completing construction of the 18-hole Tommy Fazio-designed golf course and begin building in the Founders Reserve neighborhood near N.C. 49. Generally speaking, Mascaro said, construction will begin at N.C. 49 and work towards U.S. 29.
But little progress is likely until after the North Carolina Department of Transportation approves a traffic study. That study is expected to be submitted this week.
“(The study) is essentially a document that says, ‘These are the road improvements that need to happen in order for this project to work,’” said Harrisburg Planning Director Josh Watkins. The study examines current traffic patterns and attempts to predict how further development would impact traffic in the area.
Plans call for the main thoroughfare through The Epic to run between N.C. 49 and U.S. 29.
“The big question is that road — Caldwell Road Extension — and where that’s going to go,” said Watkins. “Nothing can really move forward until they know where it is going.”
Mascaro said he’s confident the traffic study will be approved and progress will continue. He cautioned, however, that it may not be as fast as people might expect.
“I believe that with any development, especially one of this size, it never seems as quick as it should,” he said. “I think once the golf course gets going again, that will ease some fears.”
• Contact Jonathan E. Coleman at [email protected] or 704-789-9105.