Outlet mall zoning request includes hotel, bigger signs

elyportillo@charlotteobserver.comNovember 8, 2012 

— Tanger Outlets Charlotte, planned for the Steele Creek area, could include a 120-room hotel and highway signs much larger than those currently allowed, according to rezoning request documents made public Thursday.

The new outlet mall is slated for Interstate 485 and Steele Creek Road. The Greensboro-based company has said it plans to break ground next year and open in 2014.

Rezoning documents show the 82-acre parcel, bounded by I-485, Shopton Road, Dixie River Road and Steele Creek Road, could ultimately include up to 480,000 feet of gross retail floor space, plus a 120-room hotel up to 120,000 square feet.

The mostly-vacant land is currently zoned for residential, light industrial and commercial use. The land is just outside of Charlotte’s city limits.

Tanger is developing the mall in conjunction with Steele Creek Limited Partnership, controlled by Sarah Belk Gambrell, and Childress Klein Properties.

Another rezoning request published Thursday shows Childress Klein is requesting an exception to existing rules about signage for commercial centers.

Under the proposed new rules, a commercial development with more than 500,000 of gross floor space on at least 36 acres would be able to have two signs up to 50 feet tall along an expressway. The signs’ areas could be up to 300 square feet.

Steele Creek Limited Partnership, which owns hundreds of acres in the area, also filed a petition to develop 110 acres on the other side of the I-485 interchange as an industrial park. The vacant land, located between Sandy Porter Road and West Arrowood Road, is currently zoned for residential use.

A public hearing on the rezoning requests is scheduled for Jan. 22.

The zoning documents show they were finished with property owners’ signatures on Oct. 16, the day before the project was publicly announced.

Simon Property Group, which also owns Concord Mills, SouthPark, and Gaffney Premium Outlets, has plans for a Charlotte outlet mall of its own at I-485 and Idlewild Road, in Charlotte.

Executives with both companies have said both projects might not be built, since they would be only about 20 miles apart. Many tenants would likely have to choose one or the other, so speedy construction will likely be key to the surviving mall’s success. Simon also hopes to start construction next year and open in 2014.

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