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By Emily Willis ewillis@hickoryrecord.com Hickory Daily Record

SHERRILLS FORD — The Catawba County Board of Commissioners approved a development agreement more than two years ago, and now, the conceptual plan and planned development , The Village at Sherrills Ford LLC, is becoming a reality.

The Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan, accepted in February 2003, included recommendations for a village component to contain a mixture of commercial, office and residential land‐uses.

The land uses are in close proximity to one another to provide convenience goods and services to surrounding neighborhoods, as well as encourage employment centers.

The development and construction of The Village at Sherrills Ford and accompanying residential Bridgewater development are moving forward, but what does this mean for Catawba County?

“The Village site plan has a mixture of housing types,” Senior Planner Chris Timberlake said. “The plan has multi- and single-family homes like patio and town homes and also apartments.”

Timberlake said this mix of housing, “appeals to a broader interest base,” and will have diversity in pricing.

“It’s this idea that ‘beds and heads’ should promote the retail industry here in the county,” Timberlake said. “This also gives current Sherrills Ford residents more opportunity to stay and shop in Catawba County.”

Timberlake said, traditionally, many people in the area have traveled to places like Mooresville for shopping needs.

“Not only will The Village give an opportunity for residents of Catawba County to stay and shop in the county, but it will also reduce the traffic volume,” Timberlake said. “Residents will not have to worry about traveling to Mooresville, and sit in traffic on top of that.”

Timberlake said The Village should consist of 775 residences and is “the largest residential/commercial development in the unincorporated portion of the (county) since at least 2006.”

“Right now, our plat has 165 lots, and then if you look at the map, you’ve got two future developments,” Amanda Chaney, new home consultant with D.R Horton, said.

The future developments are on both the left and right side of the existing plat, or plot of land.

“(People have) already started moving in. We have about 47 under roof right now, so I would say about 20 of them have closed and most have already moved in,” Chaney said. “We’ve continued to gain momentum, and we’re selling well, which is good.”

Chaney has seen a combination of Sherrills Ford residents and also transplants from other areas.

“We are definitely getting people who are relocating, and we have some locals, too,” Chaney said. “This is just my opinion, but Lake Norman has grown so much whereas Sherrills Ford has not been much of a popular area.

“Now that prices in Mooresville have continued to rise, (Sherrills Ford) is more of an affordable option, and it’s still the Lake Norman area.”

Chaney does not anticipate a lot of lag when it comes to new residents closing on homes.

“I don’t think we will be here for a long time, but a long time is all relative,” Chaney said. “I think that based on the way we are selling...it could be 18 months to two years.”

Chaney said if people want more house for the price, they are moving to the Sherrills Ford Bridgewater Development.

Director of Development for Hawthorne Development Group Steve Bailey said The Village includes potential for an apartment complex and a town home section that could alternately be single family — ideal for an array of individuals and families.

“There will eventually be a section of our development that will be up to 150 patio homes or attached townhomes,” Bailey said.

Bailey also said the retail and office space in The Village has sparked interest among the industry.

“We are not permitted to release specific names because the companies like to make the announcements,” Bailey said. “We are in discussions for a convenience store, an additional retail building, and some medical offices.”

Publix is under construction in The Village and Bailey said the store plans to open, “very early next year.”

Amanda Chaney believes once Publix opens, there will be more movement with the Bridgewater development.

“When the Publix is opened, then people can really start to envision (the community),” Chaney said. “When the community is just dirt, sales are slow.”

Now Bridgewater’s amenities are being included in the development, which includes a pool, bocce ball and pickleball, a covered pavilion and a playground.

“That will really start to gain momentum, because people can actually see it,” Chaney said. “They don’t have to imagine it (anymore).”

Bailey said the construction has been smooth sailing so far.

“The Village at Sherrills Ford will continue to develop as the economy and market conditions allow,” Bailey said. “We initially believed it would be completed in about 10 years.”

Bailey said Hawthorne Development Group anticipates an, “increase in activity once Publix opens and the traffic signal at the intersection of our (Boulevard) and (Highway) 150 is operational.

“We are very appreciative of both the county and NCDOT for their support and assistance throughout the project.”

For more information about the Bridgewater community, visit www.drhorton.com/North-Carolina/Charlotte/Sherrills-Ford/Bridgewater-at-Sherrills-Ford.

For more information about The Village at Sherrills Ford, visit https://www.thevillageatsherrillsford.com.

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