Concord Mills starts renovations to refresh exterior

Concord Mills will soon be getting a facelift.

According to Simon Property Group, upcoming renovations to the outlet mall include updated signage, LED lights and new landscaping.

The mall will remain open during renovations. The construction will begin later this month and is slated to be complete around August.

This is not the first update to Concord Mills in recent memory. In 2016, major interior renovations included new tables, tile flooring and LED lighting.

The property follows a trend of mall renovations in the Charlotte area as brick and mortar stores work to fight online retailers.

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Toyota, Mazda consider Carolinas for massive production plant

Pictured here is the 2018 Camry at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Kentucky. Photo courtesy of Toyota.

Two Japanese automakers are considering the Carolinas to invest $1.6 billion for a major assembly plant.

Toyota and Mazda are considering nine other states along with North and South Carolina. The investment would bring over 4,000 jobs that would produce 300,000 vehicles per year. The plant would begin operation in 2021 and make crossover vehicles and Toyota Corollas for the U.S.
North Carolina has been preparing for a massive automaker to plant roots here. In 2014, then-Gov. Pat McCrory backed recruiting sections of land for mega-assembly plants in areas like Randolph County around Siler City and Liberty. Other potential sites include Wake County and the surrounding areas given its access to a major airport.

The joint venture is a move by Toyota and Mazda to continue to make gains for market share. The agreement states that the move was in part to keep up with demand and bring a competitive edge to the North American market.

Gov. Roy Cooper says no way to offshore drilling in North Carolina

Oil rig offshore

In an expected move, Gov. Roy Cooper said he opposed the possibility of oil exploration and drilling off the coast of North Carolina.

According to a press release, at least 30 coastal communities have passed resolutions opposing drilling, joining hundreds of businesses and a bipartisan group of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation.

“It’s clear that opening North Carolina’s coast to oil and gas exploration and drilling would bring unacceptable risks to our economy, our environment, and our coastal communities—and for little potential gain,” Cooper said.

This statement comes at a time in which one of President Donald Trump’s executive orders may make progress. The order instructs the department of the Interior to open up hundreds of miles of the Atlantic Ocean, just one year after former President Barack Obama made the area off limits. The order calls for seismic testing and the possibility of drilling in an untapped region.

The executive order was signed in April of this year, but as Trump’s presidency continues to hit roadblocks, drilling off the east coast may be his next chance at showing a successful tenure.

 

 

More construction ahead for U.S. 74 from Indian Trail Fairview Road to Sardis Church Road

More road construction is coming to Indian Trail as multiple intersections will be closed along U.S. 74. The $9.5 million project has begun and will shut down lanes between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. while restricting other lanes during the project.

Several intersections along U.S. 74 in Indian Trail will undergo some changes as part of the project, which will get underway June 20, weather permitting. Four intersections will be transformed to “superstreets,” a type of intersection where side-street traffic is redirected from going straight through or left at a divided highway intersection, according to the NCDOT website.

Source: NCDOT design manual

All side-street traffic must turn right but then can safely access a U-turn to proceed in the desired direction.Four intersections will be altered at Wesley Chapel-Stouts Road/Sardis Church Road, Faith Church Road, Unionville-Indian Trail Road and Indian Trail/Indian Trail-Fairview Road, according to NCDOT.

The project is scheduled for completion in November 2018.

Construction begins on new roundabout at Idlewild Road and Highway 51

A major intersection in Matthews is about to be shut down for months as construction crews work to add a two-lane roundabout. The project is aimed to relieve congestion at the intersection of Idlewild Road and Highway 51.

Partial lane closures have started, and the intersection will shut down June 23. It is expected to reopen Sept. 8. Construction of this project is estimated to cost about $1.6 million with the cities of Mint Hill and Matthews paying a combined 20 percent.

 

Here are the detour routes provided by the Matthews website:

Idlewild Road from Margaret Wallace Road:
Traffic will be detoured from Idlewild Road to Margaret Wallace Road. Motorists will turn right and follow Margaret Wallace Road to Sam Newell Road, turning left, following to U.S. 74 East. Staying east, motorists will take the ramp to the I-485 Outer Loop and follow to Idlewild Road (exit 49). A left turn will take motorists back toward the road closure, and a right turn will take motorists toward Hemby Bridge.

Idlewild Road from Union County:
Traffic will be detoured from Idlewild Road to the I-485 Outer Loop to Lawyers Road (exit 47). Motorists will exit the interstate and turn left, following Lawyers Road toward Mint Hill. Crossing N.C. 51, motorists will turn left at Lebanon Road, then bear right to Margaret Wallace Road. Drivers can then turn left on Idlewild Road toward the road closure, or turn right toward Harris Boulevard.

N.C. 51 from Mint Hill:
Traveling south on N.C. 51, motorists will turn left on Lawyers Road, following to Interstate 485, taking the exit to the Outer Loop toward Matthews. Motorists will exit to U.S. 74 West (exit 51A) and follow to N.C. 51. A left turn lets motorists continue south on N.C. 51 to Matthews, and a right turn will return traffic toward the road closure.

N.C. 51 from East Independence Blvd:
Traveling north on N.C. 51, motorists will turn right to access U.S. 74 East, following to Interstate 485, taking the Outer Loop toward Mint Hill. Motorists will exit at Lawyers Road (exit 47). At the exit ramp, motorists will turn left, staying on Lawyers Road toward Mint Hill, following to N.C. 51. Motorists can turn right on N.C. 51 to reach I-485, or turn left back toward the road closure.

 

How a train yard in uptown Charlotte could make the city more appealing

An area of Charlotte known for breweries and eateries is about to get an industrial renovation. The South End is getting a $14.2 million dollar rail repair facility near a thriving social scene that will pave the way for future high speed train travel.

The repair facility will help increase the number of trains from the two biggest cities in the state. The rail yard and repair facility is part of a statewide, federally funded project called the Piedmont Improvement Program. There are 19 different sub-projects that span from Raleigh to Charlotte that aim to improve safety and efficiency.

phase-1b-charlotte-locomotive-railcar-maintenance-facility_31042637361_o
Rendering stage 2, a repair building that can accommodate high-speed trains

According to the DOT website, the Federal Railroad Administration awarded the state a $546.5 million grant from that program in 2010, and now $520 million of the money goes directly to the statewide project.

Many elements of the project, such as improving stations and eliminating railroad crossings, have already been completed near Raleigh.

pip
Project overview

The repair station is slated for completion around August of this year. It will include half a mile of track for servicing and a 6,200 square foot building for repairs.

The federal stimulus enacted by former President Barack Obama is called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is meant to improve the speed and safety of the nation’s railways.

Four things to do in Charlotte this weekend to get away from anything political

Need something to get your mind off the election results? Here are four things to do this weekend that don’t include White House drama.

scs_5733011767Ready to get a headstart on Christmas decorating? The famous Southern Christmas Show is here! Everything from tasty treats to holiday-themed clothing will be available through Nov. 20. This is a great thing to get out and do before you get burnt out on Christmas music.

It’s $7 per car to park, then an additional $12 admission for adults and $3 for kids 6-12. The expo will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 10 a.m to 6 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday.

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Novant Health is hosting the Charlotte Marathon (along with other distance races) on Saturday morning. You can still sign up for the marathon, or you can choose to do a 5K or a half marathon. This is always a great event, so get out and run!

You can read all about the weekend schedule here, along with road closures.

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A brand new 22,000 square foot adventure course is now open in Charlotte. Kinetic Heights is located near Matthews and features high ropes, obstacle courses and training sessions. You can learn more by going to their website.

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carshowRK Motors is hosting some of the best rides in the Carolinas! The Carolina Classic & Performance car event, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, is an opportunity to show off your ride and hang out with other car enthusiasts.

The first 100 people through the door get a free food voucher and raffle ticket. You can learn more by going to their website.