A Charlotte developer won approval to build up to 80 townhomes in a south Gastonia neighborhood, ensuring that a recent trend of growth and transition will continue in the area.
Development Solutions Group intends to build a two-story townhome complex with as many as 80 units on the north side of Neal Hawkins Road, just southeast of the intersection with Hudson Boulevard. The project, which the city approved this week, will materialize on a wooded 8.7-acre lot that borders the backyards of more than a dozen single-family homes in a subdivision that includes Hawk Ridge Drive and Falcons Nest Court.
The long undeveloped property has been controlled for years by Ricky Creedmore and an entity known as RGP Family Limited Partnership. But those owners plan to sell to Development Solutions to allow the townhomes to be built.
The three parcels that make up the 8.7 acres were not previously in the Gastonia city limits, but rather just over the line in Gaston County’s unincorporated area. So City Council members had to approve a voluntary annexation request, and then assign a ‘residential multi-family conditional’ designation to make way for the new development.
The Gastonia Planning Commission voted 6-0 in favor of the request earlier this month.
“A lot of thought and effort was put into this,” said Kent Olson, a principal with Development Solutions, during a public hearing on the issue Tuesday night. “We want this to be a quality product we can all be proud of.”
Only one nearby resident voiced any concerns about the project Tuesday. Cheryl Thomas, who has lived in the Hawk Ridge community for more than 20 years, asked about what kind of wall or barrier the developer intended to install to provide screening from adjoining yards.
Gastonia Planning Director Jason Thompson said the preliminary site plan submitted by the developer called for a 15-foot buffer with additional plantings of trees and shrubs and a 6-foot-tall opaque fence. But Olson verbally agreed during the hearing to expand that to a 20-foot buffer.
The parcels in question are right beside a 10.7-acre tract of land where Gastonia leaders approved a separate affordable housing project in June. That venture will involve the construction of an 80-unit apartment complex that will front Hudson Boulevard. It is being overseen by NHE, a property management company based in Greenville, South Carolina, that manages some 4,000 apartments across North and South Carolina.=
As for the more recently approved project, Development Solutions has submitted a site plan and color renderings showing example building products that will be used in the townhome construction. Those will include vinyl windows and architectural detailing on garage doors and shingles, and a minimum of 25 percent of material used on the front of the buildings will have to be real or manufactured brick or stone.
The city’s future land use map within its 2025 comprehensive plan has previously designated the 8.7 acres for a residential use.