On Thursday evening, I had a chance to attend the Steele Creek Residents Association meeting and meet the developer, prospective builder and who, I assume, is the owner of the property. He didn’t say much. So here’s the state of the property at the moment (and by property, I’m referring to the entire 15 acre site plus houses):
BNA Homes is still in their due diligence process to acquire the property. One aspect of their due diligence is to rezone the property from it’s current zoning to the new MX-2, which will allow for townhomes. Back in 2006, the city council approved of rezoning the property to allow for 85 single family homes and the McDowell house would be preserved. The new plan calls for eliminating the McDowell house as it is an eyesore from years of neglect. If approved by the city, BNA would be within their full rights to do so since the former owners didn’t place a deed restriction the house must be preserved and restored.
Fast-forward to the SCRA meeting and the representative from BNA Homes, Mark Blythe has offered to give the house and a portion of land away to “us” for free provided that the house is restored prior to when BNA would need to initiate sales of their townhomes in about a year.
This is a HUGE undertaking because groups like the Landmarks Commission and Historic Commission do not want to invest their funds into the McDowell house because they see it as a poor resale investment. However, there maybe opportunities to raise funds through the banks, local corporations, private donations that could move the project forward to a point where the exterior could be completed and the interior could remain for some other intended use. Think maybe meeting space, possibly the Steele Creek YMCA may have use for it, historic site like the Latta Plantation (which houses date back to around this same period), or even sell it to become a bed and breakfast (that was mentioned in the 2006 plan).
The estimates from BNA homes to complete a restoration like this would be around $500,000 and based on the condition, that probably not too far off.
If you are interested, I will be hosting a meeting on Tuesday, September 27 at 6:30pm where we can put together a game plan to see if this possible. To execute this project, we will need the help of attorney’s, engineers, surveyors, construction, the historic commission and, of course, a lot of money. Most importantly, I will need your help.
Please RSVP if you can attend:
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 6:30-8:00pm
809 W. Hill St Suite C Charlotte NC 28208
One final note that’s worth pointing out: If BNA doesn’t complete the purchase of the former McDowell property, it’s back to square one.