A lovely find in a bag of chips

Queen's Grant Community Charter School

Lori Morgenson, a teacher at Queen’s Grant Community Charter School, sent us this picture of one of her students, Ryan Mohr, who found  a heart-shaped chip last week at the QG Valentine’s Day party. Quite a find!


What will the future of Lawyers Road/I-485 interchange look like?

Town staff, along with a citizen committee and the consulting group HNTB, have finished the first stages of designing a small area plan for the Lawyers Road and I-485 interchange. The town hosted three charrette’s this month to get input from citizens on how they would like the interchange to look in the future.

“It’s a consensus of all the participants and the public came up with at the meetings,” Deputy Town Manager Lee Bailey said.
The most prominent part of the development is the Bridges at Mint Hill mall.  General Growth Partners, the mall developer which owns a majority of the land between Bain School, Lawyers Roads and Interstate 485, had originally planned to build the mall with Childress Klein. However, it was announced this week that Simon Properties, owner of South Park Mall in south Charlotte, is seeking to acquire General Growth for $10 billion.
Which ever company builds the mall, the town is creating a plan that will guide development for years to come.
The plan drawn up by the town with the help of HNTB, a consulting group, shows development possibilities on both sides of I-485. The southeastern part of the plan is mostly the retail part of the Bridges development. The other side of the interstate is mostly zoned for upscale office buildings, town homes and some retail along Allen Black Road.
One noticeable feature of the preliminary plan is the large amount of green space reserved. Restrictions created by the endangered Carolina heelsplitter have limited development to smaller scales.
“We were really limited as to what you could do,” Bailey said. “The typical developer would want to max out the space, but that can’t be done here.”
The plan also proposes more than one entrance to the Bridges at Mint Hill site. The main entrance will be along Lawyers Road, but there could also be an entrance from Allen Black Road—an overpass that crosses I-485—as well as an entrance from Quail Park Drive, a road that runs parallel to I-485 from Fairview Road and dead-ends.
Other ideas that came from the meetings: Space for a possible YMCA and a conference center.
Bailey said a good example of a town which utilized a master plan to guide development is Rock Hill. Twenty years ago, the town developed a plan for the Dave Lyle Boulevard and Interstate 77 interchange. There have been few deviations from the plan over the years, and today the mixed use project is nearly complete. Bailey said Rock Hill deserved a “pat on the back” because as the elected officals changed over the years, the plan stayed in tact.
The next step in developing the plan is to crunch the numbers. On April 13, the Small Area Committee will meet to see if the plan that came out of the charrettes will fit the needs of the economy and market place and to see if the town of Mint Hill can support it. Next, the plan will be sent to the planning board and eventually the Board of Commissioners for approval.
The final plan will be used to guide the town in the development of the I-485 intersection for the next several decades.

The red on the left represents retail where the mall will go; Blue is offices. The road in the middle is I-485; to the left is Lawyers Road and the right is Allen Black Road.


Mike Ingersoll makes ACC Football All Academic Team

Mint Hill’s Mike Ingersoll was the only Tar Heel named to the ACC Football All Academic Team for 2009. Ingersoll is a junior majoring in Communication Studies and plays on the offensive line. He played high school football at Butler.

How does one become eligible for the honor?

To be eligible for consideration, a player must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career. All 12 ACC schools were represented by at least one selection on the team. The ACC has selected an ACC All-Academic Football team every year since 1954.

The Heels haven’t had multiple members of the team since 2005.


Town raises funds for Arts and Science Council

Town Commissioner Tina Ross, Bob Bryant and Town Commissioner Mickey Ellington enjoyed the chili at the cook-off Tuesday.

The town sponsored chili cook-off raised $127 for the Arts and Science yesterday at the town hall. There were eight chili entries. The winners were: Chef’s Choice and Crowd Pleaser – Stephanie Pike and Katie Pike (sisters), Baddest Kicker (Hottest) – Chris Held; Tes Unique (Most Original) Scott Simka.


General Growth to be acquired?

Simon Properties, owner of South Park Mall, is offering to acquire General Growth Properties, the company that owns the majority of the land at Lawyers Road and Interstate 485 where the Bridges at Mint Hill is to be built. According to bizjournals.com, Simon is offering to buy General Growth for $10 billion. Reps from Simon said GG’s unsecured creditors’ committee supports the offer. Mint Hill is currently creating a Small Area Plan to guide development at the Lawyers Road interchange. Read more about the plan in this week’s Mint Hill Times.