The Mooresville Board of Commissioners paved the way for one part of a downtown revitalization project to move forward Monday.
In a unanimous vote, commissioners approved a conditional zoning request to allow a density of more than 16 attached units per acre at 201 N. Church St. MV2 Investments, LLC sought to build a four-story, mixed-use building with commercial space on the first floor and 90 apartment units on the remaining three stories.
Currently, the maximum density cap is 16 units per acre but that can be increased through a conditional zoning request, Rawls Howard, town planning and community development director, told commissioners. The applicant sought to increase the density to 40 units per acre, Howard said.
“We wanted to provide, first the catalyst that would bring people, as far as entertainment and living, into the downtown space,” said Vinny Giglio, an MV2 Investments manager. “And then expand on that with some future projects we have planned.”
The 2.3-acre property is the town’s Old Mill site now abandoned, crumbled and vacant.
Backing up to the property is Liberty Park on East Iredell Avenue which is currently undergoing a $2 million phase one renovation. The renovation, set to complete in March 2020, will feature a new park entrance on Church Street with a pedestrian “Veteran’s Promenade,” an event lawn with band shell and amphitheater and a veteran’s monument.
Along with the proposed, yet currently unfunded plans to renovate the 70-year old War Memorial Recreation Center that is part of the park property, town officials hope this commercial and residential project, tentatively named “Liberty Mill,” will serve as a catalyst for downtown economic revitalization.
The proposed building will feature outdoor plazas on the first floor of the retail space overlooking Liberty Park to allow people to enjoy live music and events at the park’s amphitheater, Giglio said.
The project would provide housing to downtown core services and utilize 99 off-street parking spaces, Howard said. Overflow parking would use town street parking, Howard said.
About 65 percent of the apartments are approximately 600-square foot studio or one-bedroom units with the rest being 1,300-square foot, three bedroom-units, said Chuck Travis, principal architect with Housing Studio in Charlotte.
Travis said the builders hope to salvage bricks and lumber from the Old Mill to use in the new construction.
Howard said no incentives have been offered by the town for this project and that the project would not include subsidized housing. Funding to secure the $20 million cost of the project is already lined up, said Giglio.
The planning board approved the rezoning request last month in a 5-2 vote, Howard said.
In other news, Commissioner Gary West thanked Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell and presented him with a plaque of appreciation for having deputies patrol the town in the days after Mooresville K-9 Officer Jordan Sheldon was shot and killed May 4.
“Throughout that funeral and through the next day in Race City, Sheriff Darren Campbell and his sheriff’s deputies manned our streets, protected our citizens while we had a moment to grieve,” West said. “It is with that sincere gratitude that I’d like to present on behalf of the mayor, the town board, our fire department and our police department, and the citizens of Mooresville this plaque of appreciation.”
Campbell said his department and the town of Mooresville have always worked well together.
“Just know that on behalf of myself and the members of the sheriff’s office, y’all are still, the police department and the town, in our thoughts and prayers,” Campbell said.
In other business, Mooresville Police Acting Chief Ron Campurciani thanked Fifth Third bank employee Sarah Scheld for her heroic actions during a bank robbery July 23. Scheld took a photo of the suspect’s vehicle and provided it to police, allowing a town police officer to pull over the vehicle and arrest the individual later that week, Campurciani said.
There was no other video or photo of the suspect’s vehicle, he said. “Had it not been for her, we probably never would have gotten this guy,” said Camapurciani.
Since the suspected bank robber did not steal a substantial amount of money, Campurciani said he probably would have continued with his crime spree and possibly turned more brazen and violent.
“Had it not been for her, who knows how long this would have gone on?” Campurciani said.