Gastonia city leaders say no to Harris Teeter project

GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - Gastonia City Council voted no on a major commercial project that would have added "upscale" shopping to the city.

Close to 200 people gathered at the city council meeting Tuesday night to weigh-in on the strip mall project that would have included a Harris Teeter grocery store.

MPV Real Estate of Charlotte has a portion of land under contract near the intersection of Robinwood and Kendrick roads. At the 20.5 acre location, they were looking for permission to build a 104,000-square-foot shopping center. The main attraction would have been a 53,000-square-foot Harris Teeter.

"It's the type of development that Gastonia has not seen, In terms of the quality," said Steve Vermillion, MPV Properties.

Supporters said the project would bring jobs and upscale shopping to Gastonia.

Opponents tell WBTV the project is splitting the community and they are worried that the project would have brought to much traffic and congestion to Robinwood Drive.

"This issue is pitting neighbors against neighbors and friends against friend," Gastonia resident, Nancy Garret said.

The Council needed a super majority to approve the project's zoning guidelines. Tuesday's vote was three to three.