Waxhaw to see grocery store at Howard Mills

WAXHAW – Developers are one step closer to bringing a new grocery store to Waxhaw, though town leaders say they don’t know what grocer will fill the open space.

Waxhaw commissioners voted 4-1 on Tuesday, Feb. 25, to approve the proposed design for a new grocery store to be built at the Shoppes at Howard Mills on the corner of N.C. 16 and Cuthbertson Road. Zoning for the land, approved in 2004, required town leaders to approve the design of the store when it eventually moved forward, but did not give the town any control over what grocer fills the 65,000 square feet of space. All future construction is required, by the unified development ordinance from 2004, to line up with the design palettes approved by the 2004 board of commissioners.

Although there were some on the board that did not feel the proposed design lined up with the palettes, town leaders approved the plans Tuesday night. Commissioner John Hunt was the sole opposing vote.

When the Lowe’s Home Improvementwas first approved the board pushed the developers to create a unique design for the town, Mayor Daune Gardner said, something she wanted the current board to stick to with the grocery store design.

“The purpose of having the conditional use permit was to provide some consistency with the project as it’s built out,” Gardner said Tuesday. “… I feel strongly that the intent of that work (of the previous board) be honored and the proposed elevations be more like the design palettes.”

Although Gardner and other commissioners raised concerns about the proposed design lining up with the palettes approved in the past, Karen Partee, vice president of construction and development with developer Ashton Properties, assured the board that designers pulled portions of the four palettes together to create the proposed look. The building will be 77 percent brick.

“(The palettes) were meant to give design options so we could create a unique building,” Partee said. “I think that it would be a real complement to what’s out there, a real complement to the town.”

The grocery store will be located across the street from the Cureton shopping center, where a Harris Teeter is located along with other retail development. There is still some undeveloped area in the Shoppes at Howard Mills that commissioners plan to see developed in the future. No timeline for construction has been set.

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