Quail Valley residents unclear about future

Residents say they aren’t getting answers about when they have to move out

 

Residents of the Quail Valley apartment complex are wondering when they’ll be told they have to move out, as the community’s owner prepares to bulldoze the aging complex and build new apartments aimed at a “higher demographic.”

Charlotte City Council approved a rezoning request last week which allows the complex’s owner, Faison Hollow, to bulldoze the aging buildings and start fresh with a new apartment complex. That plan caused some concern from area residents when it was learned the new complex would be denser, adding nearly 200 more apartments to the complex, and as such would add more cars to already congested roads like Carmel and Quail Hollow.

Despite area concerns, city council approved the project on Sept. 24 in part because the developer agreed to decrease the density from 404 units to 390 units and move the configuration of some buildings on the property. Council member Andy Dulin, who represents the area, lauded the project as something much needed for the area.

“This is an apartment complex … that when I got home from college it was already old then in the mid 80s,” Dulin said before voting in favor of the rezoning. “So, this is going to be a renewal of an area that is well needed and (I’m) looking forward to it.”

But the council’s vote and little information from the developer has left some residents of the apartment complex wondering what their future holds, and when they have to get out of their apartments. The developer was clear at a community meeting in April that the new apartment complex will be for a different type of renter, with Faison Hollow representatives wanting to bring in a “higher demographic” than who currently lives at the 232-unit complex built in the 1970s.

Steve Smith, the development company’s managing director for Carolina’s regional management, said in April the new, upscale apartments would target an “underserved market in SouthPark,” such as people in their 30s who are working to purchase a home, or older couples with grown children. The rent on a one-bedroom apartment will go from the current $697 a month to around $1,050, according to April estimates, with a three-bedroom apartment increasing from $980 a month to $1,625 a month.

When asked Tuesday, Oct. 2, when current residents would have to move out from their Quail Valley apartments, Smith said he didn’t know, and directed a reporter to another representative with Faison Hollow. Calls to the apartment complex’s manager also were not returned.

“I live here in Quail Valley and was wondering if you guys knew anything as to when Faison will be tearing down these Quail Valley apartments and getting the project started,” wrote one complex resident in an email to South Charlotte Weekly. “I am getting the runaround from my (apartment manager).”

The resident said he was told by complex staff the developer didn’t plan on demolishing the apartments any time soon, while an area homeowners association member told him they heard from the developer that the apartments would be demolished next year. “So, I have been hearing mixed messages as to what is going on. I just hope to hear something from Faison … as to exactly what Faison’s plans are and their timing as to when they plan to start this project.”

Wrote another area resident, “So what happens to the residents who can’t afford the new upscale units that my councilman is so thrilled about? Not a word about the tenants in your article. Are they simply advised to avoid letting the door hit them on the way out?”

Residents near another planned apartment project also aren’t pleased with last week’s votes. City council approved a rezoning to make way for the Lancaster Road Apartments, near south Charlotte’s Providence Pointe neighborhood, which some residents say will add to overcrowding at area schools and increase traffic on already overburdened roads.

Council approved the project, in part, because the developer agreed to decrease the amount of units at the project, and the owner of a nearby piece of land agreed to not develop his land too dense. But that’s not exactly what some neighbors were looking for.

“First of all, the reduction in 250 to 248 apartments doesn’t really deserve a mention as a compromise by the developer,” wrote Providence Pointe neighbor Doug Campbell in an email to South Charlotte Weekly. “Secondly, the rezoning of the adjacent property by 100 units is meaningless. The property owner has no intentions of selling that property anyways as (the developer) knows.”

Campbell sent a separate email to city council and area representative Warren Cooksey, saying “… we will see who was right about the rezoning and its effects on the Lancaster Highway corridor. However, it will be Providence Pointe residents that will feel the effects, not the members of City Council…”

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