Developer trims Mill’s Market plan in downtown Cornelius

Mill’s Market rendering

Aug. 10. By Dave Vieser. The Mill’s Market proposal for 2.3 acres in the heart of downtown has been scaled back in general, but it will have a larger commercial component than was originally presented last year.

Developer Mark Miller of Highline Partners told Cornelius Today that “we heard comments when the proposal was first announced that the project needed to better address the look and feel of Cornelius.”

Changes include:

Density: The original project proposed 263 units, it’s now a maximum of 238 units.

Height: The original six-story structure has been scaled down to four fronting Catawba Avenue, similar to the nearby Cain Center. The building will step back approximately 35 feet and eventually reach a fifth floor.

“If you are walking along Catawba in front of this project, we expect that experience to feel like a four-story building” Miller added.

Design: After reviewing the project in more detail with the architect  Axiom Architecture, they have introduced arched openings in the façade. These arches are reminiscent of mill windows from a century ago.

“We are still planning to preserve the brick façade of the existing commercial buildings such as the Old Town Public House and tie that façade into our new construction,” Miller added.

Mill’s Market site plan

Commercial: The commercial component of 7,000 to 8,000 square feet has been increased to approximately 12,000 square feet. “We heard from the Town and Town Commissioners that we needed to increase the amount of commercial in the project,” said Miller.

There is also a “European Alley design” in the section known as Catawba Court.

“We believe it will be a fun, walkable environment with roll-up garage doors and indoor/outdoor seating throughout, Miller said.

Highline is targeting restaurants, retail and boutiques as tenants.

Parking: Miller has agreed in concept with the Town to provide an additional 130 public parking spaces in the parking deck. These spaces will be owned and controlled by the Town and are meant to serve as additional parking for patrons of Downtown Cornelius, including the Cain Center.

Affordable Workforce Housing: Miller has committed to providing 10 workforce housing units for a minimum of 20 years, and working with the newly created Community Development Corporation (CDC). They will also make a $30,000 contribution to the program at the closing of their construction loan.

Doc Washam house

What about the Doc Washam House at the corner of Meridian and Catawba? The one-story house—where many Cornelius old-timers were born—comes down if Highline Partners gains approval and builds the project.

What’s next

The project will be presented to the Planning Board for review and then a recommendation to the Town Board, which will conduct a full public hearing on the matter. It could go before the Planning Board in August or September, according to Town Planning Director Rox Burhans.


One Response to “Developer trims Mill’s Market plan in downtown Cornelius”

  1. It was announced today that the project will be reviewed by the town Planning Board at their meeting this Monday August 14, which begins at 6:30 pm in Town Hall.

    Posted by Dave Vieser | August 10, 2023, 11:40 am

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