MOORESVILLE – Several prominent municipal projects were put in motion in 2021, with openings planned in the year to come, but the metamorphosis of the town’s main core remained the major newsmaker of the year.
After pandemic protocols put a damper on celebrations marking the completion of first phase work on Liberty Park’s revival, the reimagined and repurposed venue – with a community green and amphitheater – finally made its debut hosting a series of summer concerts.
The performances also offered front-row viewing as finishing touches were made on residential portions of the multi-story Mill One apartment building overlooking the park. Apartments are now occupied and work is wrapping up on the first-floor retail space of the Mill One structure that has transformed a block of Church Street and also provided a preview of what to expect when developers start a similar project on Main Street just south of What-A-Burger.
Farther south, the evolution of the million-plus square feet in Merino Mill continues. Anchored by the popular Aliño Pizzeria and Barcelona Burger restaurants, the facility now houses two dozen other businesses with plans in place by owner Michael Bay for even more and varied uses.
In the heart of Main Street, new businesses continued to sprout in restored historic spaces, with Murto Made Distillery – scheduled for a grand opening celebration New Year’s Eve – as the latest addition.
But activity wasn’t restricted to the downtown area. On West Wilson Avenue – one of the town’s primary entry points – a new municipal building and a substantial transportation network upgrade are progressing simultaneously.
Since groundbreaking ceremonies in April, the outline of the 49,000-square-foot future headquarters for the Mooresville Police Department has taken shape on the corner of West Wilson and U.S. 21. The $19 million project is scheduled for completion by late 2022.
The station is just part of the West Wilson changes. A comprehensive $4.6 million project including road upgrades and enhanced pedestrian and cycling amenities is also underway on heavily traveled West Wilson between U.S. 21 and Broad Street.
Another municipal project is construction of a 15,000-square-foot, $4.5 million fire station on N.C. 801 near the Mooresville Business Park.
The Mooresville Graded School District is also in building mode. In December, ceremonies were held marking the start of construction on the Selma Burke Middle School. The 130,000-square-foot school, on a 70-acre parcel on Rinehardt Road, will serve 900 students and include a full package of sports amenities. The project, scheduled for completion by the start of the 2023-24 school year, will – combined with facility upgrades at existing elementary schools – allow the district to implement a class reassignment plan for elementary, intermediate and middle school grades.