INDIAN TRAIL – For a couple years, The Moser Group and Greystar have been working on plans with the town for The Hub – a phased-out project under development at the northeast corner of Nelson Lemmond Drive and Shady Bluff Road, near Chestnut Square Park.

Plans were already approved for a hotel neighboring the Taco Bell and Walgreens near East Independence Boulevard and North Indian Trail Road, as well as for a first phase of 350 apartments. Now, developers are seeking approval for Phase II, which would drop 280 apartments on 8.66 acres between the hotel and Phase I.

Mackenzie Moser, a broker with The Moser Group, presented Phase II of Elan Apartments May 18 to the planning board. Since the proposed tract of land between Chestnut Square Park and U.S. 74, near downtown, is one of few left in Indian Trail that does not touch residential neighborhoods, Moser believes it's ideal for attracting a station along the extension of the upcoming LYNX Silver Line light rail.

“We want to enhance the property so that the density is approved to attract the Silver Line,” Moser said, “which we believe would be a huge benefit to Indian Trail, and would draw the retailers and office users and the jobs that fit into Indian Trail's vision.”

What's for sure is the 26-mile Silver Line will connect Matthews to uptown and UNC Charlotte, but the Charlotte Area Transit System has also discussed an extension into Union County from Central Piedmont Community College's Levine Campus in Matthews. The Moser Group wants to create a hotspot so dense and walkable near downtown Indian Trail that staff and planners can use it to influence that tip of the Silver Line's alignment.

Since one condition of the rezoning says construction can't start on Phase II until Phase I wraps up, Moser said Greystar won't break ground until 2022 or 2023 at the earliest. But things could take longer. Indian Trail planning director Brandi Deese shed some light on how issues with water/sewer could put a pause on plans.

“The town is actively working with Union County and some of the other municipalities within Union County for an interlocal agreement,” Deese said. “I think that's what the county's looking for in order to move forward with some potential funding for some solutions for this wastewater treatment facility.

“They've already made some improvement for Twelve Mile, which impacts some of our jurisdiction, but most of our jurisdiction flows to Crooked Creek. The town is working hard with the county to come up with solutions, so the worst-case scenario is seven to 10 years, but we really just don't know at this time.”

Moser told planning board members the land is in good hands in the meantime.

“We take pride in all of our properties, so we have a full staff seven-days-a-week maintenance team that would make sure the property is maintained, even until the apartments could be built,” Moser said. “We've been in Union County and Indian Trail for a long time. My dad actually started the Moser group 30 years ago, and he's crazy OCD about landscaping and maintaining properties.”

An updated December 2020 traffic impact analysis by Kimley-Horn and Associates determined that a new traffic signal would have to be installed at Chestnut Parkway and U.S. 74. Someone will also have to improve the existing U-turn intersection there. According to Matt Kirchner of Eagle Engineering, whether the responsibility falls on developers or NCDOT depends on timing.

"Those lights might be installed by DOT if they end up ahead of this project," Kirchner said. "If they're not, we'll install them when this project goes on, so whoever's first will install those lights and right turn lane."

Calculations for a school impact study determined the project could add 204 students to local schools.

“That would actually probably be a little bit less,” Matt Ward, Indian Trail senior planner, told planning board members. “It was the same school study that was used with the first two phases. They've reduced the unit size down 20 units, so it probably should make that number better.”

The reason buildings were cut back in more recent drafts was to make space for a clubhouse and resort-style pool. Plans for other amenities include a coffee bar, fitness center, dog park, fire pits, grilling and lounge areas.

Moser foresaw Elan serving “graduates and young professionals.” One-, two- and three-bedroom apartments would range in price from $1,075 for 560 square feet to $1,800 for 1,460 square feet.

As plans remain up in the air due to COVID-19, Moser is pushing forward. Indian Trail Town Council was slated to hear new plans for the hotel May 25.

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