INDIAN TRAIL – The Indian Trail Town Council heard plans Aug. 13 for a large apartment complex near Sun Valley High School, and at least one council member expressed concern about the proposed use of the property, which is zoned for light industrial uses.
Triangle Real Estate in Gaston County is proposing to build 192 units on a 10-acre tract that would be called Palisades at Indian Trail. Plans call for three-story buildings with a maximum of 30 units in the largest building and 12 units in the smallest building. Sixty of the units will be one-bedroom, 96 will be two-bedroom and 36 will be three-bedroom units. The units would rent for between $950 to $1,300 a month.
“This is a good group and they do good projects,” said Tom Jones, an engineer hired by Triangle to design the property, during a developers
workshop with the council.
The gated complex will also have a clubhouse, salt-water pool, playground, dog park and three-garage buildings. In all, there would be 352 parking spaces or about 1.8 parking spots per unit.
Councilman Jerry Morse pointed out that the proposed complex is across the street from manufacturer Berry Global and a CSX Railroad line. Morse asked the developers why they picked this site when there is other available land in town.
“One of the things here in this town that we definitely need is more business, more industrial as part of our comprehensive plan,” Morse said. “One of our goals is to work, live, play here. I hate to see this light industrial site taken off to become multi-family, high-density right there.’’
Jones said in his opinion that if the parcel remained light industrial, it would not be a large job creator for the community.
“I’m going to suggest that you couldn’t have any industrial use here, obviously you could,” Jones said. “But it is not an overly large piece of property. I think this (apartments) is a good use for the project. You get the density, you get the multi-family in these areas that have other commercial areas nearby.’’
Councilman David Cohn said the town is being “bombarded” with proposed apartments and asked Jones about the demand for such units.
“You look at Charlotte, you look at here, it is going apartment crazy,” Cohn asked. “What is it that you guys see that makes you think that you are going to fill all these apartments?”
Jones said Indian Trail is a desirable community and that demand for apartments in the proposed price range is in demand. Triangle has developed multiple projects in the Carolinas, and their average occupancy rates are between 92% and 98%.
“I don’t think there will be any issue with them filling up,” Jones said. “I think it is considered work-force housing. It is not unattainable by working families.’’
Triangle representative Jeff Ledford said the company will manage the property after it is completed.
“We are a long-term holder,” Ledford said. “In five years, we will still have this project. We have built over 80 complexes and in the history of the company, we have sold one complex we have built. We are still holding onto them. My boss is in his 30s. We will be around for a while.’’
Preliminary plans called for a single entrance into the complex but Town Manager Patrick Sadek told Jones the town would require a second entrance that would allow first-responders better access to the property.