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Acreage of I-85 shopping complex larger than previously thought

A proposed shopping complex adjacent to I-85 could turn out to be larger than previously planned, leading to a slight uptick in the total amount of money Rowan County will receive for the sale of the property.

Initially, the complex was estimated at 26.3 acres. RowanWorks Economic Development Director Robert Van Geons said further inspection led to an additional 2.475 acres  being incorporated into the complex, which is being developed by Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Hutton Growth One LLC. The  shopping complex would be located in the county-owned Summit Corporate Center.

“There used to be an access road that fronted between Summit and the highway,” Van Geons said. “That got closed and I-85 got widened and there turned out to be additional property in there, which the company had to go back and survey again.”

Commissioners voted Monday to allow an engineering company for Hutton to access the property early to stay on a relatively tight timeline. Berry Engineers, a Tennessee-based engineering company for Hutton, had planned to start initial work on Dec. 9. The commissioners’ action only allows the engineering company to grade the land, Van Geons said.

“Quite simply, in order to maintain their timeline, they are requesting that we allow them to begin grading on the site prior to closing,” he said.

Before it was approved, Ben Berry, of Berry Engineers, more specifically described the agreement as allowing his company to access the property, conduct mass grading and clear trees.

Hutton is expected to close on its purchase of the nearly 30 acres by the end of December, Van Geons said.

He said the additional land would lead to an increase of about $90,000 in the total payment to Rowan County. When commissioners previously approved the proposed complex, the estimated cost was $1.5 million.

The measure passed with relatively no discussion from county commissioners.

Dicks Sporting Goods and Hobby Lobby are the only current shops on a partial site plan for the center. The two stores would occupy 90,000 square feet of the site’s total 151,500 square feet of space.

Plans for the site show other outparcels as being developed at a later date, with the initial buildings being ready for occupation as early as fall 2015.

If the land isn’t developed into the proposed shopping complex or the project doesn’t pan out, Rowan County has two years to reclaim the land.

In other business from Monday’s meeting, Commissioners:

• Approved an amendment to a grant for a Gildan access road

Originally, it was proposed that the road be turned over to NCDOT for maintenance after construction. Instead, Granite Quarry will be responsible for maintenance.

• Scheduled Dec. 15 as the next meeting date. the meeting will be at 6 p.m.
The commission originally was only scheduled to meet one time in December. Among other things, the December meeting will address the county’s audit.
• Approved a motion to begin working with the Salisbury-Rowan Tourism Development Authority in a re-branding effort.
Commission Chairman Greg Edds said the agreement would only be initial phases of discussion about a complete rebranding and wouldn’t cost any money.
• Approved a $4,583 grant for the Rowan County Library to upgrade its group study room’s technology
• Established the meeting times of the new board as 3 p.m. on the first Monday of the month and 6 p.m. on the third Monday
Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246

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