On March 22nd, aShortChronicle told readers about a rumored new development at the entrance to town on South Main. While responses to inquiries to those involved with the project have been slim, here's what we've found out since then.
According to public records, preliminary meetings have been held starting in late February for a possible 4 story apartment building with roughly 150 units plus 6000 sqft of retail on the old Davidson Clinic site and adjoining properties. As of the end of March a full application for the project had not been submitted, but multiple pre-submittal meetings had occurred. The notes provided from the town did not appear to indicate any showstopper issues being raised by town staff at that point.
Below is the drawing provided by the Town of the potential project.
What may be most interesting to readers is who is involved in the project.
The firm of Cornelius Mayor Chuck Travis, The Housing Studio, is doing the architecture work, and the firm of Davidson Commissioner Brian Jenest, ColeJenest&Stone, is involved as well for planning and landscape architecture. Records show they were the ones who attended these pre-submittal meetings. In fact it appears Commissioner Brian Jenest initiated the first meeting with an email to town staff on February 19 requesting one.
The name on the Housing Studio drawing obtained via public records request says Woodfield Investments. That would appear to be the financing/development entity behind the project. Mayor Travis has a long relationship with the investment company. His comments are featured on the firm's website as part of its partner references. This is part of what Travis had to say about working with Woodfield.
"Woodfield Investments has become an industry leader in building apartment communities in the Carolinas and the metro area of Washington, DC. Each community is designed to uniquely address its location - from respecting trees and natural features of a more rural site, to maximizing the existing infrastructure of streets providing connectivity and integration with shopping, dining and offices in urban locations."
The below aerial of the site from the county's Polaris system shows a significant amount of tree canopy that will be replaced by parking if this goes forward.
Does that make Davidson an "urban" location as opposed to "a more rural site"? If Travis's own words about his long time business parters at Woodside Investments are true, it would appear so.
On Monday, aShortChronicle contacted Travis and Jenest for comment for this story. The local developer who participated in the meetings was also contacted.
Commissioner Jenest responded Tuesday AM with the following.
"Yes my firm is involved in planning and landscape arch for the property mentioned. It is still in feasibility phase. It is planned as a mixed use with apartments geared to empty nesters."
It should be noted that project proposals come and go often, and not everything proposed goes forward. However, with the players involved in this one it would seem this one might have a better chance than most.