CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- They’re calling it the biggest new development to hit Charlotte in decades and comparing it to Ballantyne.

But that’s really where the comparisons end because the developers say the River District will connect with nature and be a walkable community offering all kinds of different housing in an urban environment.

Creighton Call is the Vice President for Development of Charlotte-based Crescent Communities.

“We’ve been planning for development in this area for the last 20 years,” he told NBC Charlotte as he gave us an exclusive tour of the property that’s been left undeveloped for years.

We had to take a four wheel drive to get to the property.

“It’s just a really unique sort of topography and streams and creeks,” Call points out.

It’s called The River District – it sits between the airport and the Catawba river.

When you take a look around it is literally just woods as far as the eye can see, 1400 acres that’s undeveloped. It's hard to believe we’re just eight miles from uptown and right by the airport.

“It’s really a perfect recipe for a mixed-use master plan community,” Call said.

The plan – preserve about 500 acres – turn them into mountain biking, walking and hiking trails, then build a walkable community around them.

And while the river district is drawing comparisons to Ballantyne because of its size, Call says “it will live and feel much differently than Ballantyne. It’ll have a wide range of housing opportunities that will be inclusive, from the workforce all the way up to estate homes.”

They expect about 10,000 people to live out here once it’s done. There will be office space and restaurants all surrounding a shared public space. Renderings show what they expect it will look like…and some work is already underway but the whole community? That will take a bit longer to finish. Call says about 30 years!

They expect to have some of the trails open to the public as early as this summer and hope to have the first part of the residences done in the next two years.