Posted on April 22, 2014 at 5:14 PM
Tuesday, Apr 22 at 7:43 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Neighbors near the new Charlotte Premium Outlets mall are bracing for what's expected to be a big increase in traffic.
We're talking double what it is now, from 11,000 car trips a day to an estimated 22,000 car trips a day in the mall area, according to rezoning paperwork with the City of Charlotte.
"Not a fan of traffic. We try to avoid that," said Penny Voss, who lives on Brown Grier Road in the Wildwood Meadows neighborhood, which is near the mall site.
"This road doesn't need any more traffic," Voss said.
But that's what Voss thinks Brown Grier Road is going to get once the mall and its 100 stores opens this summer.
"I do expect it to get worse," Voss said. "That's not what we're looking for."
Cassandra Lee loves the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The more activity the better, she says.
Lee says her family moved to the Berewick neighborhood to be close to the mall.
"That fits our lifestyle," Lee said.
She's not worried about the increase in traffic or cars coming to her neighborhood.
"I think everyone is going to love it for the most part," said Lee.
The way Gary McNeil figures it, I-485 and Steele Creek Road will bear the brunt of mall traffic.
The last thing he wants is the road near his house looking like Bruton Smith Boulevard, which is the main exit to Concord Mills, also an outlet mall.
"Oh, Lord," McNeil said while shaking his head at the thought.
He's lived just off Steele Creek Road for 29 years and thinks drivers looking for alternate routes will end up taking Arrowood Road or West Boulevard and backtrack along Shopton and Dixie River roads. Some of those areas have just two lanes.
McNeils says he's had enough close calls over the years trying to turn into his neighborhood.
Now, add more drivers -- and his main concern, teenagers -- heading to the mall.
"Oh yeah, tell me about it," McNeil said.
Part of mall construction includes trying to ease the impact of additional cars, with entrances and turn lanes.
Lee can't wait for the stores to open. Voss plans to stay away.
The mall is expected to create 900 full and part-time jobs and bring in an estimated $140 million in annual sales.
A job fair will be held May 2 at the Sheraton Airport hotel from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.