Across the Iredell County line above Davidson, Mooresville continues Lake Norman’s east-side building boom.
Known as Race City USA for its abundance of NASCAR teams and shops, Mooresville’s population doubled in the 1990s. Today the town has about 21,000 residents – a number that continues to grow by more than 1,000 each year.
The biggest change in Mooresville is the completion of home-improvement retailer Lowe’s 400,000-square-foot corporate campus, which houses the company’s headquarters. The campus currently employs 1,500 and anticipates 8,000 employees in more than 2 million square feet of space once the project is completed. Economic developers have called the Lowe’s campus the most significant industrial project ever built in southern Iredell County.
Residentially, Crescent Resources continues to develop The Point, a Nantucket-style community at the tip of Brawley School Road with a private golf course designed by Greg Norman, a clubhouse and swimming pool. Several of the cedar shake and stone houses overlooking the lake cost more than $5 million.
Winslow Bay Commons recently opened with 430,000 square feet of shopping, including the area’s first Super Target, TJ Maxx, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Michael’s, Pier 1 Imports, World Market and PETsMART.
On Main Street across from a proposed rail-line stop, the former Burlington Industries plant on Main Street, vacant since 1999, is being converted into a 600,000-square-foot motorsports business park called Victory Lane Mills. Also downtown is a new 30,000-square-foot public library with a $2 million gift from Lowe’s.
Depending on where you live in the Mooresville area, students attend classes in either the Mooresville Graded School District or the Iredell-Statesville School District. The latter, which serves the area outside the Mooresville city limits, opened its fifth high school, Lake Norman High, in 2002.
With continued growth of homes and the Lowe’s corporate campus, Mooresville is making many significant road improvements. The N.C. Department of Transportation is reworking Exit 33 off I-77, widening Brawley School Road and building a new interstate exit at Langtree.
By 2010, Mooresville also hopes to have the heavy rail North Meck line running from Uptown Charlotte through Lake Norman towns and the south Iredell corridor.
Health-care providers also have responded to the needs of Lake Norman residents. Lake Norman Regional Medical Center recently moved from its former location in downtown Mooresville into a new, 117-bed facility at I-77 Exit 33. The complex, which also includes a physicians’ office building, has been the catalyst for a development boom at the interchange.
Leading the charge is Crosland Commercial’s Mooresville Gateway development, which will include everything from fast-food eateries and convenience stores to hotels and medical offices.
Recreation in the Mooresville area includes Queen’s Landing, home of the Catawba Queen and Catawba Belle, Mississippi paddle wheeler replicas that cruise Lake Norman year-round for lunch, dinner and sightseeing. Queen’s Landing also features a family entertainment center with two 18-hole mini-golf courses, bumper boats, tennis courts, a restaurant and deli/bar.
Lake Norman State Park, north of Mooresville in Troutman, includes 1,400 acres with six miles of nature trails, a beach and swimming area, picnic shelters, campsites and boat rentals.
The Lazy 5 Ranch features more than 750 animals, including giraffes, buffalo, antelope, deer, elk, camels, reindeer, long horn cattle, zebras, llamas, pigs and goats. There’s also a petting zoo, playground and picnic area.
Equally family friendly is Carrigan Farms, a pick-your-own Mooresville farm that grows strawberries, peaches, asparagus, apples, pumpkins, tomatoes, corn and other seasonal vegetables.
NASCAR race shops draw thousands of visitors a year who can see cars being built, trophies, photographs and other memorabilia. Local race shops include those of Rusty Wallace, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Brett Bodine and Ricky Rudd. The N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame is a museum dedicated to stock car, Indy and drag racing. Visitors see more than 35 cars, including winners driven by Richard Petty, Rusty Wallace and Davey Allison.
Local golf courses include The Point (private), Mallard Head Country Club (semi-private) and Mooresville Municipal Golf Course (public).
Downtown Mooresville will soon be home to its very own luxury condominiums at 100 North Church. The four-story building offers units ranging from $355,000 to $499,000 and includes retail on the ground level.
Art-lovers will enjoy Cotton Ketchie’s watercolors and face jugs by regional potters at Landmark Galleries and the Mooresville Artist Guild’s Depot, a visual arts center located in an 1856 railroad depot. Both are in downtown Mooresville.
Other long-time traditions include D.E. Turner Hardware, a century-old store with items piled to the rafters and salesmen who love to spin yarns, and Mooresville Ice Cream Company, which has sold Deluxe brand ice cream since 1924.