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Geographic convenience, business growth factors in new housing in the county

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — With Rowan County’s proximity to Charlotte and Interstate 85 and as more businesses set up shop, builders are looking at the county as a prime location for housing developments as well.

Since 2015, at least 10 housing developments have began in Rowan County, according to the Rowan County Planning and Development Department. Five housing developments are as recent as 2019, including Alexander Glen in Rockwell, which will provide 104 homes; Lighthouse Landing in the Morgan area, with 14 lots; The Village in Granite Quarry, with 96 lots; Barnhardt Meadows in China Grove, with 105 homes; and Yorkshire Farms in the Atwell area, which is a 170-lot subdivision.

Other recent developments include:

  • The Falls in Kannapolis, which has 106 lots.
  • Red Cedar Farm in Mooresville, which is a modular group of homes comprising 24 lots.
  • Peyton Crossing in Locke, which has eight lots.
  • The Woodlands at Old Beatty Ford Road with 21 lots.
  • The Gables at Kepley Farm, which is a retirement community that includes 260 homes.

Victor Wallace, president of Wallace Realty, said the county has seen a total absorption of excess lots before “the 2009 era” by various builders over the last 18 months. Around 2009, Wallace said the area experienced a big expansion in subdivisions. Now, as a result, the county has a large inventory of lots that builders can put houses on.

Rowan County Planning and Development Director Ed Muire echoed that, saying a lot of available parcels in existing subdivisions were up for purchase, which eliminated developers’ need for new development areas. Those properties are attractive, he said, because they already include utilities like municipal water and sewage services.

Population growth is always beneficial for the tax base of the county, Muire said.

The population was 138,576 in Rowan County in 2015, and it increased to 141,262 in 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Wallace said the county has lagged behind the national average for economic growth until recent years, which accounts for a recent housing development boom across the county.

New businesses entering the market here have credited the geographic convenience of Rowan County, especially because an Interstate 85 widening project is complete and that the county is close to Charlotte. This is attractive for builders, too. Rowan is the “next place a lot of these builders are looking at,” Wallace said.

Mark Henninger, division president for Lennar, credited Rowan with becoming a viable place to expand. Lennar is the real estate company in North Carolina responsible for the Alexander Glen development in Rockwell.

When more communities are built, it provides a captive audience for retail centers and economic development, Henninger said. That ultimately brings in more business.

“Homes are really where jobs go to sleep,” Henninger said.

Alexander Glen includes homes that are “EI,” which means “everything’s included.” Henninger said this makes the buying process easier, as the market desires are included in the homes already, preventing customers from having to decide between multiple options for accommodations in the home or investing more money into designing. Essentially, the model homes that homebuyers tour look like the final home they purchase.

Two other developments with Lennar are in the works for the area, he said. And those developments are expected to be larger than Alexander Glen.

Contact Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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