Free Wifi in Downtown Belmont

Downtown Belmont has launched free wifi to the public in the Main Street area. The internet is provided by North Carolina based service provider Open Broadband, which provides ultra-high-speed wifi. People visiting the downtown area are now able to access the 1 gigabit wireless network with no password required through any device with internet capabilities. Belmont City Manager, Adrian Miller, has commented that this new service is a logical extension of the high-tech, connected world we live in today.

Open Broadband was able to set up this wifi through antennas that are mounted throughout the downtown area. In addition, the wifi network is actually helping promote the area’s local business and restaurants. When visitors select the “Open Belmont” option, an internet browser window will appear directing them to connect. This browser window will also serve as an advertising board for local shops or restaurants.

This internet provider is a favorite of Belmont, having already installed wireless antennas in several other Belmont business and residential locations. Prices for this service range from $30 to $350 monthly and the plans offered range from 25 megabits to 1 gigabit. Open Broadband is a unique and appealing option because its upload and download speeds are the same, an advantage that is not offered by every service provider.

Open Broadband is already in talks with several other areas to expand this public internet service. To learn more about how this wifi works and where else it is offered, be sure to check out the full article at gastongazette.com 

Steele Creek and Lake Wylie Housing Market Report 2017-2018

The Steele Creek Real Estate market continues to be one of the top markets in the Country and is estimated to be one of the top 5 in the entire Country by the end of 2018.

On the National scene existing Home sales will finish at a pace not seen since the bubble bursting run up to 2006 clocking in at about 5.5 Million but amazingly still approximately 1.1 Million less than that all time high.

According to forecasts by the National Association of Realtors the steadily improving US economy, sustained job growth and rising confidence that now is the time to buy a Home should pave the way for an increase in Homes sales in 2018.

Back to Steele Creek, the availability of land, proximity to Charlotte’s 485 outer loop, Downtown and the Airport along with a widely diverse Housing Market are driving increases in prices and sales. A new master planned Development is in the final planning stages for the large mainly undeveloped area west and south of the Airport which will include the proposed River District slated to be larger than the Ballantyne area in South Charlotte. The area is expected to increase in population by 20-25% over the next 5 years.

Sales of new and existing Homes in the Steele Creek area over the past 12 Months for the zip codes of 28278 and 28273 were at a staggering pace of close to 2000 sold, leading the way the Community of Berewick with sales up 33% to 356, the Palisades with 131 sales was a distant second.

Another large Master planned Community is rising in Gaston County near Lake Wylie and Belmont called McLean, while just getting started sales were up to 40 in 2017.

Over on the South Carolina side of the Lake new Developments are popping up like spring flowers, national production Home Builders like Mattamy Homes and DR Horton along with local Builders, Fielding and Bonterra Homes are building a potpourri of styles and myriad of prices. New Home sales in the Lake Wylie SC area have increased from 75 in 2014 to around 200 per year at the end of 2017.

Sales of existing Homes in the Clover-Lake Wylie-York area zip codes of 29710 and 29745 although not quite as strong as its counterpart Steele Creek were close to 1300 over the past year. The top seller in that area is the well-seasoned “Jewell” of them all, the magnificently well planned Community of River Hills with close to 80 closings and an average sales price up 15% to $354,000.

WATERFONT MARKET UPDATE

Median prices continue to rise in the waterfront market due to low inventory and high demand, as of this writing there were just 57 active listings in both Carolinas down from the 120-140 we experienced for a few years with only 6 priced below $500,000. The 1 Million plus market was very active with 16- 1 Million Dollar plus Homes closed in 2017 and currently 12 were on the market. A total of 169 waterfront Homes sold down slightly from the year before with a median price pushing close to $700.000 up from the low $600,000’s that were steady for some time.

As urbanized Charlotte continues to gobble up large tracks of land for high density development the demand from those looking for the serenity and peace of Lake living along the shores of Lake Wylie will find it more and more difficult to afford.

New Automotive Shop in Belmont

After decades of tinkering with cars, a Belmont man has finally fulfilled his dream of opening up an automotive shop. The shop is called South New Hope Automotive and it is located near the intersection of South New Hope and Twin Tops Road. It is open 8 am to 5 pm every Monday through Friday.

Sid Allman has been working on opening a shop since 2008 and eventually signed a lease on the property in March. Since then, he has been renovating the property to make it perfect for customers. Allman has worked at a dealership repairing cars for 17 years and has said that the one thing he noticed was that they tend to overpromise customers. he says he does not plan on doing that at his new shop.  He hopes that he is able to call his customers friends and develop his shop into more than just a place of business.

Allman says the best part of his new shop is that he no longer has to commute to work so he is able to spend more time with his family. His wife even works with him in the shop.

The opening of this shop is on trend with the expansion of Belmont. New shops have been opening every day as the area becomes more popular. To read more about Allman’s new automotive shop, be sure to check out the full article at gastongazette.com

Parking Lot Added to Help Belmont Traffic

Parking has recently been a major issue for residents of Belmont as new restaurants and shops have opened downtown but hopefully the addition of a new parking lot will make things easier. City officials recently cut the ribbon on a brand-new, 60 space parking lot. The lot is located on Mill St. right around popular restaurants such as Old Stone Steakhouse and Sammy’s Pub. Taxpayers lease the space for $1700 a month which Manager Adrian Miller hopes will not only keep tax dollars within the town but also help residents really enjoy their nights out.

In recent years, multiple new restaurants have opened that have become popular, which has only increased the demand for parking. Private business used to be lenient on public parking but have recently cracked down on local restrictions, which is what sparked the push to build the new parking lot. Since last year, this is the second new parking lot that has been added. In addition, several private lots have been leased adding 200 spots overall in the last year.

The lot sits in the most congested part of Belmont on what used to be the city’s public works building. Workers had to remove the previous foundation and overall it took about a month to get the lot ready for the public. The city manager has visited the lot and says that while people are still getting used to it, it should definitely ease the difficulty of parking downtown from now on.

To read more about the new parking lot and where it is located be sure to check out the full article at gastongazette.com

New Belmont Grocery Store Begins Hiring

The newest grocery store in Belmont will not open until the fall but the hiring process has already begun for its potential new employees.

A new Harris Teeter is being built at the Belmont Town Center shopping complex located on South Point Road. Construction started a year and a half ago and the store is finally moving towards completion. Danna Robinson is a spokesperson for the store and has stated that they do anticipate opening in the fall. When the store opens, it will include many amenities such as a Starbucks coffee, pizza bar, sub shop, floral gallery, and Express online shopping.

Hiring has begun for the anticipated 120 new employees for the store, although some will be transfer employees from existing stores. There are full and part-time opportunities in many capacities like stock clerk, baker, and barista.

The actual date of opening will be announced about two weeks before. The company also plans to host an event called “Taste of Teeter” at the Belmont location one day before the grand opening. This will be a pre-opening sample event featuring many of the store’s best products.

In addition to the new store, a 12,000 square foot building next to the new store will also feature restaurants and retailers. These businesses are also planning to open in the fall

For more about hiring opportunities and other amenities of the new store, be sure to check out the full article at www.gastongazette.com

 

New technology to prevent pool drownings

After a close call with a 2 year old girl earlier this week, Belmont’s YMCA is training with a new technology designed to prevent pool drownings. Earlier in the week, paramedics arrive at Ballantyne’s YMCA to respond to a drowning call. A lifeguard had pulled the young girl from the pool and she was alert and breathing. The girl’s father later reported that luckily she was doing fine.

In response to this incident, lifeguard’s have begun working with a new technology developed by Dr. Graham Snyder, a pediatrician from Raleigh. He had dealt with many tragic drownings in the past and developed the new “swim safe” neck bands in response to that.

The band is designed to fit around the child’s neck before they go into the pool. If the child is underwater for more than 15 seconds, the band will begin to flash and sound an alarm to alert nearby lifeguards. Dr. Snyder said that he had seen too many young children die from drowning over the years and wanted to develop something to help remedy that. If the bands are a success in Gaston County, the plan is to expand their use throughout the rest of North Carolina. This technology could be vital to saving many young children in  the future.

To read more about this new invention and how it can help North Carolina children, be sure to check out the full article at www.wsoctv.com

Cherubs Cafe temporarily closing

Cherubs Cafe is an extremely popular breakfast and lunch restaurant on Main Street in downtown Belmont. Starting this past Monday the cafe closed for the month for renovations. The cafe has been closed in the past for shorter amounts of time to complete updates like painting and cleaning but this is the first time it will be closed for major renovations. Everything from the kitchen to the dining room to the furnishings will be receiving a complete upgrade.

The cafe has been a staple in Belmont for the last 21 years and is run by Holy Angels, a nonprofit group devoted to providing creative learning programs and living opportunities for children and adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The servers and wait staff at Cherub Cafe are made up of these adults.

The cost of the renovations will be covered partially by Holy Angels as well as donated grants and company discounts. A representative from Holy Angels has said that the cafe will be receiving a complete makeover that she hopes customers will enjoy when the cafe reopens in about a month. For anyone concerned about the well-loved menu at the cafe, it has been stated that the menu will remain mostly the same.

For more about this popular restaurant’s upcoming plans be sure to check out the full article at gastongazette.com

Belmont’s new grocer to compete with local favorite

Belmont is soon to be home to a new Lidl, a German-based grocery chain that has been working on a significant expansion into the United States and is getting ready to open up a 4.3 million-dollar 32,000 square-foot store here.

With a new grocer in town, local discount supermarket favorite, Aldi, is really trying to step up its game so that it can compete with Lidl. The two Belmont area Aldi stores, located at 2108 Union Road in Gastonia and 6402 Wilkinson Boulevard in Belmont that have been open for over 10 years are getting a makeover. The company has invested $1.6 billion nationwide to remodel and expand their existing stores and these two locations are part of the mix. The Belmont location, which recently reopened, has had the biggest makeover in the area so far. The Gastonia location has renovations underway and is expected to reopen in mid-May.

Remodeling plans include open ceilings, a new modern design, plenty of natural light and environmentally friendly building materials. The company is also making changes to their food products, including removing added MSG, synthetic colors and partially hydrogenated oils from all of their store branded and private label products.

For more details and information on the Aldi makeovers as well as the new Lidl opening and what it means for Belmont as well as Gaston County, be sure to read the full article at gastongazette.com.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Belmont’s Eagle Park

Eagle Park is a charming community in the town of Belmont in Gaston County, located just minutes from the interstate yet featuring a welcomed sense of seclusion. The community offers small-town living with big city amenities and allows residents to take advantage of the slower pace and laid-back vibe of Belmont.

The neighborhood features parks, a playground, a tot lot, and a dog park. Residents can also enjoy a community pool and fitness club as well as the tennis courts, playgrounds, picnic tables and athletic fields at Davis Park. Furthermore, Eagle Park is conveniently located near major interstates, near Uptown Charlotte, and near the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Eagle Park has nine homes on the market, which represents 18 months of inventory, and thus we are looking at a buyer’s market. Belmont as a whole has six months of inventory making it a perfectly balanced market, neither favoring the buyers nor the sellers. Specifically in this neighborhood, however,  buyers seem to have the upper hand.

Furthermore, there has been almost no change in the average price per square foot over the last year. There has, though,  been a slight increase in the average sales price of homes.

Homes currently on the market range in size from almost 1,700 square feet to over 3,000 square feet and range in price from $248,000 to $414,900. you can expect plenty of curb appeal and charming front porches in this beautiful neighborhood.

Belmont is a historic Mill town that features fantastic shopping and dining, and with Eagle Park’s walkability to downtown Belmont, the community has everything you could ask for.

Much-anticipated McLean development pushes forward

McLean is one of the most talked about and highly anticipated residential developments in Belmont, North Carolina on Lake Wylie. The 670-acre development covers five miles of shoreline along the border between North Carolina and South Carolina.  The community will include 800 homes, as well as a marina with a waterfront restaurant, a public park, 10 new miles of trails that will connect to already existing trails, and a pool clubhouse in each of the three primary neighborhoods of the subdivision.

The current breaking news on the development regards the 37 of the 800 new homes that dip into York County in South Carolina. While York County has already approved the plans for this part of the neighborhood, The company behind the new development project has asked for an extension, as currently construction is only allowed to continue through August 10 of this year. County planning staff is recommending a one year extension to guarantee completion within a preapproved time frame. Because these York County homes will have no access from York County, the roads, water and sewer infrastructure will be served by Belmont, as this is where the majority of the development sits.

The three primary neighborhoods of the development are South Shore, the Conservancy, and Overlake. Construction on South Shore homes has already begun and homes in the neighborhood will range from approximately $400,000 to over $1 million. Homes in the Conservancy are slated to be ready this spring and start at approximately $240,000. Home construction in Overlake is not slated to begin until later this year,  and the marina will be built as part of a much later phase. The entire McLean project, which includes not only the homes but also the marina, restaurant, park, trails and more is not expected to be completed in its entirety for approximately 8 to 10 years.

For more details on the McLean project in Lake Wylie, be sure to read the full article at CharlotteObserver.com.