INDIAN TRAIL – A townhome project proposed for downtown may have people thinking they’re in Charlotte, and that bothers Indian Trail Councilman Jerry Morse.
The Moser Group has introduced its vision for Town Center North, a project with up to 65 townhomes on 2.96 acres at the old town hall site on Indian Trail Road.
The firm has not applied for rezoning yet, opting to get preliminary feedback on their idea during a developers workshop held prior to the Jan. 28 town council meeting.
“The goal would be to create an opportunity to live in downtown Indian Trail – a walkable neighborhood,” said Mackenzie Moser, a broker with The Moser Group, told the council.
Four-story buildings will consist of a garage on the first floor, three floors of living space and a rooftop patio. The townhomes will have two or three bedrooms that may be for sale or rent.
The concept is based on townhomes that can be found at the corner of South Boulevard and I-277 in Charlotte, Moser said, noting they have “a really pretty look.”
“I didn’t move out here to be Charlotte,” Morse said after Moser’s presentation. “I’m just going to be upfront. On the surface, this is something I would be totally opposed to the way it is presented right now. It’s just a massive amount of townhomes.”
Morse wasn’t aware of any other property in Indian Trail zoned for 22 units per acre. He said the “sardine effect” bothers him.
“It looks like it is just jammed in there,” Morse said. “Again, when I go down to Charlotte I see those massive high-rises. If that’s what Indian Trail wants, OK, but I just know that when I ran for council one of the things that I hear is this high-density development being (put) into tight spots.”
He also took issue with another 40-plus townhomes that have been approved in downtown but not yet built.
Indian Trail Councilman Todd Barber was concerned about the traffic that’ll be added to Indian Trail Road. He’s was also hoping to see more of a mixed use for the property and downtown.
“If everyone just builds townhomes, there’s nothing to walk to,” Barber said.
However, The Moser Group came into the discussion thinking they were adding to the mixed use by adding residential.
Michael Theberge, senior project manager with Bohler Engineering, worked with town staff to develop the project. He explained the town’s comprehensive plan talks about adding more height in areas where it’s not going to impact neighbors, such as along the rail line.
One of the challenges for developers is that Indian Trail is in between versions of a Unified Development Ordinance, which may have different development philosophies.
“It is good to have feedback of what y’all’s vision for the downtown area if it is different from the current plan or what the new UDO will be,” Moser told the council. “Personally, I’m 25. I think this would be a really cool place to live where people can have ownership in downtown. It does kind of look like an apartment but it allows for ownership versus renting one unit.”
Moser asked the council if they would be open to commercial fronting the road with residential in the back.
Councilman Marcus McIntyre brought up the idea of ground-floor shops with residential above them, which Moser interpreted as something akin to downtown Matthews.
The Moser Group also informally presented a second townhome project, dubbed Uptown Trail, on 3.7 acres at Indian Trail Road next to Indian Trail Elementary. This project includes up to 55 for-sale three-bedroom units with first-floor garages.
Theberge told the council they thought townhomes would be more appropriate use than commercial for being next to the school. This drew concerns about how the project would affect the queuing of parents in the school’s parking lot.
Morse asked if there was something more conducive to a school that could go there, like a daycare.