Developer nixes plans to bring Lagoona Bay to Huntersville
Earlier in the summer, Huntersville planning staff recommended that town leaders deny the rezoning request for the project.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) – An ambitious tropical beach-style resort will not come to Huntersville.
Developer Jake Palillo announced Wednesday that Bi-Part Development has ended its Lagoona Bay/Waterside project.
“After a year long struggle to seek rezoning for one of Huntersville’s largest and most unique projects is [sic] has come to an end,” Palillo said in a statement. “The project does not financially work with a reduced plan to meet the current zoning.”
WBTV asked Palillo whether he has plans to propose a similar project in another area, he said he does not at this point.
The proposed $800 million mixed-use development in Huntersville originally called for a luxury hotel and conference center, townhomes, single-family homes, luxury apartments and condos.
At the center of the development would have been a private Lagoona Bay Club with a 10-acre freshwater lagoon.
Earlier in the summer, Huntersville planning staff recommended that town leaders deny the rezoning request for the project, which would have sat east of Interstate 77, partially along Sam Furr Road.
Eventually, the developer modified the plan for Lagoona Bay, doing away with the hotel, convention center, retail and restaurant space and condos. The beach club and tropical-style lagoon would also be reduced from 10 acres to eight.
In his Wednesday update, Palillo said the financial risk for a project of this size is too great.
“Banks are no longer lending for large developments and if they are loaning they require 40% to 50% down,” Palillo said. “Business loan defaults are raising as well as consumer loans, credits cards and car loans. You can’t take interest rates from 4.5% to 8.5%+ and not hurt everyone.”
Palillo added that while the Lagoona Bay/Waterside project has come to an end, “our love for Huntersville and wanting to make it better doesn’t.”
WBTV asked the planning director for the Town of Huntersville how this could affect future development proposals in the area.
“I suspect if anybody wanted to do higher intensity development, they would learn from from what Mr. Palillo faced on his project,” Jack Simoneau, Town of Huntersville Planning Director, said.
Simoneau says he does not believe this will deter another developer from proposing a project in line with the town’s 2040 plan.
“If somebody wanted to do development that is already zoned for residential, it’s not even a public process,” he said. “It is something that the staff can approve.”
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