Lake Norman area considered for future hotels by Carrie C. Causey

Lake Norman area considered for future hotels by Carrie C. Causey

This graphic shows the site plan for a potential hotel located on West Catawba Avenue between Mariner Cove Drive and Waterview Drive in Cornelius. / Courtesy of Town of Cornelius

(Realty Executives Unlimited recently saw this article.  It is important to know what zoning boards and companies are planning so the community can make their voices known.  We, as local homeowners and business owners, are against this project.)


Two Lake Norman towns reportedly have hotels considering opening in the area to fill the needs for the growing number of residents, tourists and area events.

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• Cornelius:

• Davidson:

• Huntersville:


Cornelius and Davidson have both had prospective businesses contact them, though no official paperwork has been submitted in either case and nothing has been approved.

In Cornelius, discussions are on the table for a possible lake-front hotel with 304 rooms, plus a two-story convention center space and a full-service restaurant to be located off West Catawba Avenue behind Mariner Cove Drive. Preliminary site plans from property owner Sreeramulu Nara and his architect were discussed at a March 8 pre-development review committee meeting.

Cornelius Planning Director Wayne Herron started the group as a way for potential developers to present their ideas to a board in an unofficial capacity to get feedback prior to spending time and money pursuing it further or filing a formal application.

“The committee thought it was a great idea and a great location,” Herron said. “The only discussion was a change in the number of stories.”

Original plans have the hotel as 14 stories, though committee members thought it may be easier to sell to nearby residents keeping it closer to six. However, Herron said the group felt the possible change in height shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for developers when looking for prospective hotel chains.

“It’s going to be hard to sell and a hard buy for neighbors any way they do it,” Herron said.

While the concept was favorable to the committee, it could be a ways off before any official documents are submitted until more due diligence is done. Even then, it could take several months for the rezoning from its current residential classification and other approvals to take place.

“There are several legal issues,” Herron said. “They are going to meet with an attorney to see what legal hurdles they could have with the neighbors, meet with Charlotte Water to see about pumping water or water and sewer and to meet with Duke Power. Anytime there is non-residential on the lake, Duke has to get involved. They also want to have discussions with the neighborhood because they don’t want to be adversarial.”

Herron said overall, the town is excited about the potential for lake-front hotel and convention space.

In Davidson, one company is looking at a possible new hotel at the corner of Griffith Street and Davidsons Gateway Drive near Woodie’s Auto Service, according to a press release from N.C. Broker and Realtor Robert Tremblay, citing Martin Kerr of Martin Kerr and Associates.

A local hotel developer with existing properties in the Lake Norman and Charlotte areas seeks to build an upscale, recognized internationally brand hotel, with approximately 120 rooms plus a meeting space, enhanced technology package, pool and full-service restaurant, according to the release.

Since no documents have been submitted yet to the town, it isn’t considered an official project yet, but in general, Davidson staff have commented how a hotel could benefit the area. The addition of one has also been part of the potential plans for the Davidson Catalyst downtown upgrade and was previously listed as a possible business for Circles at 30.

“There is demonstrated need for hotel space in Davidson and the greater Lake Norman area. Anyone that wants to open a hotel needs to conduct and market study as a matter of practice. When we’ve seen them, the market studies indicate that there is indeed a demand for a hotel/hotels in Davidson and the Lake Norman area,” Economic Development Manager Kim Fleming said in an email, adding, “In addition to fulfilling a demand for rooms and meeting space for our local user groups, businesses and other institutions in Davidson and the surrounding area, a hotel would provide a good source of revenue for the town in the form of property, occupancy and food and beverage taxes.”

Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville have a total of 20 hotels, including one bed and breakfast, which account for 1,604 rooms, according to Travis Dancy, director of sales for Visit Lake Norman.

Dancy said a full-service hotel, offering meeting space and a food and beverage component, is especially desirable for the area.

Contact Information

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David DiGioia
Realty Executives Unlimited
17718 Kings Point Dr, Suite B
Cornelius NC 28031
Fax: (866)476-8652