$800M Residential-Commercial Project to Start at NC's Lake Norman

Aug. 13--Construction on the first phase of Langtree at the Lake, an $800 million planned residential and commercial project around the future Interstate 77 exit 32 in Mooresville, could start by early spring.

And the development has secured its first high-end tenant: Ruth's Chris Steakhouse is expected to open by 2009.

Howard said they have letters of intent from other businesses, but no formal commitments; they plan to announce other business tenants soon.

"We are trying to select businesses that are different, unique, destination-type locations," Howard said.

The development has received 150 reservations for condos planned for the first phase of the project, developer Rick Howard said. Loft condos are $300,000 to $400,000 and lakefront condos $600,000 to $2.8 million.

Buyers paid $10,000 to secure their spots, Howard said before a ceremonial groundbreaking on Thursday. "The interest has been better than expected with no marketing," he said.

The 128-acre "resort-lifestyle" development also will include two hotels, a yacht club, par-3 golf course, convention center and 50 acres of open space.

The state is building the new exit, which should open in summer 2009, the same time as Langtree at the Lake's first phase.

Construction on the project's southwest quadrant is scheduled to start by spring and finish by summer 2009. It includes 327 condos and lofts, 225,000 square feet of office space, a boutique hotel, bank, grocery store, drug store, dry cleaner, hair salon, and a Gateway Academy child care center.

Work on the project's northwest quadrant is expected to begin by 2009 and finish by 2012. It features a 250-room Embassy Suites hotel and convention center, which is expected to open by 2010, 82,000-square-foot office building, 67,000 square feet of retail space, 318 luxury condos and lofts. Plans also call for a yacht club and more office and retail.

And construction of the northeast quadrant should start by 2012 and finish by 2015. It includes 250,000 square feet of medical and office space, a community park, the green space and golf course.

The developer intends to begin in the southwest quadrant before developing the northwest quadrant, which includes the full-service hotel and convention center originally slated to start first.

Howard said Langtree will bring more amenities and convenience to area residents with easy access to I-77.

"It's a destination," he said. "It's an experience we want to create."

Lena Warmack: 704-987-3670, ext. 14.

<<Charlotte Observer, The (NC) (KRT) -- 08/14/07>>