Best Holiday Lights in 2020

Due to the ongoing pandemic, many people are starting to decorate for the holidays a little bit early. It has even been said that people who decorate for the holidays earlier are happier. In the spirit of celebration, here are some holiday light displays you can see, either from the comfort of your home, driving in your car, or walking around in person.

  • Of course, the most famous of all light shows in the area is Mcadenville. The whole town gets into the festive spirit and you can drive through in your car and see all of the lights. This event is free.
  • A hybrid event is being held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. You can drive through the 3.75-mile course to see over 4 million lights. You can also get out of your car (with a mask and social distancing) and enjoy food and drink. Tickets are required and are charged per car.
  • Carowinds is once again hosting a holiday event called Taste of the Season. There will be food and drink throughout the park as well as live music and light displays. Reservations are required, and masks when not eating and drinking. Temperature checks will be required for entry.
  • Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens is hosting Holidays at the Garden. This walk through event will feature food and drink as you stroll through the gardens and view lights and cherry blossoms. Masks are required as are tickets.
  • The U.S. National Whitewater Center is once again hosting a ½ mile walking trail of lights. This event is free if you have a parking permit, otherwise it is $6/car. Masks are required.
  • Walmart is hosting a drone show for the holidays. You can see it in person at the location on Carowinds Boulevard, or watch on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok on December 16th. The event is free, but tickets are required in person so you can maintain social distancing.
  • There is one completely online event, the Cabarrus Virtual Holiday Celebration. You can enjoy this from your own home, no mask required. You can see it on your computer, or it will be broadcast a few times during the season on Channel 22.

If you would like to learn more about homes in the Lake Wylie area or schedule a tour of available listings in the area, give us a call at 803-831-8588. You can view current listings and create a custom search on our website here.

 

For more details on the light shows, see this article in the Charlotte Observer.

Covid-19 Trends

The Charlotte Business Journal is reporting that there has been an increase in single-family home permits for builders in rural areas. This trend is directly due to the virus and is based on demand for larger homes with home offices further out from cities.

You can see the trend most clearly around the largest cities like New York City, but in Clarksville, just outside Nashville, TN there has been a 63% increase in approvals to build single-family homes.

Homebuilders and analysts are banking on the trend continuing pushing homebuilders to locations that used to be deemed “too far out”. Land further from cities is typically cheaper so the initial costs for construction are less, but there could be increased costs trucking supplies and setting up utilities. Buyers may have homes without many city conveniences like city water and sewer.

People seem to be willing to trade off those conveniences due to demand for space for home-schooling, home working out, and home working. People who can work from home are not facing long commutes anymore so they are willing to be further out to get what they want at an affordable price. The Carolinas have many places where this trend is playing out and Lake Wylie is one of them. New housing starts are up 17% over 2019, but builders can’t keep up with demand yet.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Lake Wylie area, give us a call at 803-831-8588. You can view all current listings and create your own custom home search on our website at lkwrealty.com

 

Read more in the Charlotte Business Journal.

 

Delays Persist on I-85

It looks like delays are the order of the day on I-85. The current road projects in Gaston County are yet again delayed. There are a few in the works as well, the first, widening of I-85 and the replacement of the Wilkinson Boulevard bridge over the Catawba River are the largest at this time. There are many smaller projects delayed as well including sidewalk replacement and road rehabilitation projects which have also been delayed.

One of the reasons for the delays is of course Covid-19. People are traveling less which means they are purchasing gasoline less often. Many of the road projects are funded by taxes on gas and on tolls from toll roads. With more people staying home and now working from home, those revenue sources have taken a hit.

New projects have pushed start dates out as well. The I-85 widening project which was supposed to begin in early 2021 has now been pushed to 2025 with a new completion date expected in 2029. This $387 million project is supposed to expand I-85 from six to eight lanes between Gastonia and Belmont.

The replacement of the Catawba River bridge over I-85 has been delayed until 2023. Additional projects such as roadwork and pavement rehabilitation that were supposed to begin in 2022 have been pushed as far as 2025.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in Lake Wylie or would like information on any neighborhood in the Lake Wylie area, give us a call at 803-831-8588. You can view all current listings and create your own custom home search on our website at lkwrealty.com

 

More Parks on the Ballot

When you head to the polls this fall, residents of Lake Wylie will vote on a new special tax district to help buy land that will create more parks in the area. The vote will decide if a special tax district will be created or not. This is similar to the decision already made where residents were taxed for the recreation park.

York County Council met and adopted a resolution to certify a public petition. The result of the resolution is that the new tax district will be up for a vote on the general election ballot in November.

Lake Wylie is one of the largest unincorporated places when you look at the population. This means that residents pay for improvement by themselves such as the special fire tax district which supports the Bethel Volunteer Fire Department. This kind of funding was also raised for Field Day Park which was funded in part by a county hospitality tax and a recreation tax district set up to support the park.

This new initiative will first establish if the Bethel/Lake Wylie Land Acquisition and Preservation Park District should be formed. The purpose would be to acquire property for conservation, green space, historic restoration, passive recreation and interactive community uses. A cap of $10 million for land acquisition and construction is part of the plan as is an annual expense cap of $500,000.

The 29,000 residents covered by the new tax district are in the same boundaries as the recreation tax area for Field Day Park. Many of these residents have been vocal for many years about a lack of common green space on the Lake. This is their chance to become advocates for the kind of community they want Lake Wylie to be in the future.

If you would like to join the community in Lake Wylie and have a say in this important legislation, give us a call  at 803-831-8588 to schedule a private tour of homes. You can view current listings on our website here.

Holiday Events Calendar

If you’re like us, you love the holiday season and everything that goes along with it. The parties, the music, the food, the celebrations, and events are all great reasons for the community to gather. Even if you just like driving around neighborhoods looking at lights, that’s a great opportunity to meander down streets and potentially spot a perfect home for sale.

Here are some of our favorite community events:

  • Lake Wylie’s annual boat parade December 14th from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. Located at the Buster Boyd Access Area, near Papa Doc’s. The boats will circle in front of Riverpointe and pass the Lake Wylie boat landing so both are great viewing points.
  • Rock Hill’s annual Christmasville festival is Dec. 5-8 and will include events for children and adults. Events include gingerbread contests, crafts, rides, live shows, chances to meet Santa, a petting zoo, food, carriage rides and carnival. The lighting of Winthrop University’s magnolia tree is 6 p.m. Dec. 6, followed by the city of Rock Hill Christmas Parade at 6:30.
  • Historic Brattonsville is open for candlelight tours. This historic site helps you learn how the holidays were celebrated in the 18th and 19th centuries. Tours are $10 or are free if you are a Culture and Heritage Museum member. Make your reservation online. Tours are from 3 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 at 1444 Brattonsville Road in McConnells.
  • Tega Cay’s Christmas tree lighting and candy cane hunt is 6 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Glennon Center, 15083 Molokai Drive. The Fort Mill High School and Tega Cay Elementary chorus will sing Christmas carols as guests enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and a visit with Santa.
  • If you love the circus, visit the city of York’s 80th annual tree lighting and Christmas parade is from 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 6 at 43 N. Congress St. where the circus is the theme. Enjoy bands, circus performers, animals, and floats. Santa will be in attendance for photos and there will be activities for all as well as food available.
  • Winterfest at Carowinds theme park transforms the park into a holiday wonderland. Open weekend nights Nov. 24th until Dec. 31st. There are performances, parades, and much more. Tickets are required and can be purchased online.

And if you spot that perfect home while you are out and about this holiday season, give us a call at 803-831-8588. We can schedule a private tour and help you navigate the process of purchasing your next home. You can view current listings on our website here and plan out your private tour of homes.

Chronicle Mill Redevelopment in the Works

A redevelopment plan is in the works for the historic Chronicle Mill in Belmont. The plan has been floating around for a while, headed by John and Jennifer Church. The Churches are longtime Belmont residents and have owned this particular property since 2013. They have been talking to city and county leaders to test the waters on the plan with the hope of a quick approval through the Belmont Planning and Zoning board.

The property is located just off the main strip, and the owners are asking for a conditional zoning to “downtown district”. This change would allow them to have the mixed use for residential and commercial. It would also allow for parking as well and would cover seven acres which also includes nine parcels in total. The process entails approval by the Belmont Planning and Zoning board, then eventually a vote later this year by Belmont City Council.

There could also be hurdles around Deed Restrictions on the properties that would need to be amended. They need approval from surrounding landowners to get the deed restrictions lifted and are working on their way to getting the required support.

The current plan is for 240 upscale one and two bedroom apartments with around 12,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. There will be garden space created with the removal of a newer section of the existing building facing Catawba Street. They will retain the mill character by using the existing facade, but the plan calls for an additional building, and a fourth floor on the existing building.

The Churches will be collaborating with Armada Hoffler Properties out of Virginia Beach, Virginia. This could be a great addition to downtown Belmont and will bring life back into the old mill building.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in the Lake Wylie area, which includes Belmont, call us at 803-831-8588. We can help you keep tabs on this project or any other property in the area. To view current listings and create custom searches, visit our website here.

YMCA Possibly Coming to Steele Creek

Paperwork has been filed for a new YMCA in Steele Creek. This location is the perfect place for families in Lake Wylie to hit on their way home from an Uptown commute. It will be easy to get kids there for weekend sports games, or swimming lessons. The YMCA is definitely a place to bring the community together.

The new YMCA proposal would be located on Sledge Road and Steele Creek Road. The current proposal would have up to 15,000 square feet of indoor recreation as well as plenty of space for outdoor recreation as well. This would most likely include many types of sports fields and pools.

Homebuilder Pulte Group filed a petition for rezoning of the land for the intended use in August. The entire parcel has 272 acres and would have up to 697 single family homes with 120 age-restricted units for 55+ residents.

Of course, all of this development depends on the approval from city council, but the area is booming with growth. This would be the first YMCA for the Charlotte area since the construction of Sara’s YMCA three years ago. Steele Creek is great because it is close to the lake as well as close to the city. It is a nice in-between point that is fully coming into its own as a destination.

This YMCA would join the other 25 locations in the Greater Charlotte Area. The new location would have the expected features of other locations including childcare, classes, independent workouts, camps, bootcamps, swimming, education, accessibility, day camps and more.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in the Lake Wylie area, call us at 803-831-8588. To view current listings and create custom searches, visit our website here.

Project Destiny Proposed

Just south of Lake Wylie, on the Rock Hill side of the Catawba River lies Project Destiny. This 1,900 acre tract of land was purchased by York County for $21 million in 2018, and the proposal was just presented to York County Council. The plan was presented by architects and it looks like it is really going to be something. The county envisions the project to be similar to the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill, South Carolina. This means preservation of the area, as well as facilities for visitors.

The land is located off of Neely Store Road and currently has only one entrance. With just under 2,000 acres, there will likely be multiple entrances for visitors. With around six miles of water frontage, this park will be truly unique and could be a great regional draw for visitors.

The next step for York County is to acquire a conservation easement for the property. The easement would make sure that, in perpetuity, the land is not developed. After that, there will be plans for additional roads, parking lots, trailheads, emergency phone service, and restroom facilities. It is likely that the first phase would grant water access to visitors.

Future development of the site may include additional recreation options, venues, and events. It is common in projects of this sort to have 100-year vision plans so other options may be a part of that plan.

Despite this project being a little bit far from Lake Wylie, it is still part of the Catawba River, and is close enough that residents will enjoy visiting. We may be seeing the first phases of Riverbend Park in as few as 9 months, or it could be slightly longer. In any case, this is truly a worthy project and will be a gem on the waterfront.

If you are interested in owning a home in the Lake Wylie area, call us at 803-831-8588 to schedule a private tour of homes. You can view current listings and create custom searches on our website here.

New Shopping Options Coming in Steele Creek

One of the pitfalls of living in the Lake Wylie area is that there are not as many options for shopping and dining out there. If you live closer in to town, you have many more options, but you don’t have the lake lifestyle. These trade offs are about to be less of a problem for lake residents as they are about to get more shops and restaurants nearby.

The new shopping center will be located on Steele Creek Road near the intersection with Interstate 485. There are existing shops already across from this spot, including a Walgreens, Starbucks, and Harris Teeter. Less than a mile away are the Charlotte Premium Outlets. This new development is expected to have a wide range of tenants from a steak restaurant, to bank, to cell phone provider to healthcare services.

Konover South, an over 60 year old firm based out of Florida, bought the property for $4.8 million and closed the deal last week. This is their first property in North Carolina, though they have many properties in Florida and Ohio. They are now in the planning stage where they will come up with the design and work through the permitting process. The construction phase of the development should begin in early 2020 with completion sometime in 2021. They are planning on around 32,000 square feet of space so there could be more tenants depending upon the plan.

Lake residents will be pleased with additional retailers to support them. There are so many new developments in the Lake Wylie area that we need more options.

If you are interested in owning a home in the Lake Wylie area, call us at 803-831-8588 to schedule a private tour of homes. You can view current listings and create custom searches on our website here.

New Development Needs More Time

County planners for York County, SC met on August 1 to review new housing developments. One of the most exciting projects is for a proposed 224 acres that spans from Bethel School Road all the way to Crowders Creek. This is right behind existing homes in Paddlers Cove and the new sports park which is underway. This plan would be on the south side of the creek. This development is in the initial stages of the process and is under review for the preliminary plat and permitting at this point. As we find out more details we will publish them.

The second major development that was discussed was Meriway Pointe with developer Walton Development. They have asked for another extension for their plan for 449 homes on just about 213 acres on the North of Crowders Creek. These extensions are not uncommon and property owners can request up to 5 each year while in the process. This would be the third extension this year on this particular project.

It looks like getting connected to utilities, specifically water and sewer is the holdup at this point. There are some capacity issues that need to be ironed out that are causing delays. They should be resolved soon and the development schedule will be going once again.

Keep in mind that these projects are proposed and could run into substantial hurdles in the days ahead. Additional issues can always crop up as part of any project, large or small. Some or all of the plans could be altered or eliminated as part of the process.

To read more about these neighborhoods and the planning stages, see the full story in The Herald Online here. To schedule a tour of homes in the Lake Wylie area, call 803-831-8588. To view all current listings and create custom searches, click here.