CHARLOTTE — The River District is beginning to take shape in west Charlotte. And it’s promising to reshape Charlotte’s growth far beyond the 1,400 acres Crescent Communities is developing there.
With new details just released to the Charlotte Business Journal, it’s now clear Crescent is pushing the boundaries for what is considered mixed-use development. The River District will essentially be a town — complete with a main street and town center — anchoring that area of the city.
Crescent Managing Director Chase Kerley, a Charlotte native who has been with the firm since 2016, has been tapped to lead the project.
“It has certainly taken us a while to get to this point,” Kerley said. “To think that, in 10 years, the entirety of the project would be built out — that would be a bit foolish. I’d say, to put a number towards it, it is certainly a 20-year project that has the opportunity to be accelerated.”
Kerley compared plans for the initial phase, for which site work is now underway, to Fort Mill’s Baxter Village and Kingsley developments. Others have pointed to Ballantyne in comparison to the whole district. In fact, Baxter, Kingsley and Ballantyne Corporate Park could all fit inside the overall River District site.
Crescent anticipates the development of 8 million square feet of office space, 500,000 square feet of retail, a range of housing types totaling around 5,000 units and 1,000 hotel rooms, among other uses. About 40% of the land will remain green space.
The first phase, a 70-acre community called Westrow, will have 103,000 square feet of retail space, 174,000 square feet of offices and a 250-room hotel. Westrow’s residential phase includes over 500 apartments, 58 townhomes and 48 single-family homes. The first homes are expected to be ready in late 2023, marking the first element of The River District to deliver.
Another 124 units of affordable, mixed-income housing will be developed by Laurel Street Residential on a site donated by Crescent.
Between 2022 and 2024, Kerley said, each of the first three phases of the project will begin, with the first phase starting to deliver next year.
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