ReVenture Park expands to include ‘eco-district’

MOUNT HOLLY – Forsite Development announced in February the acquisition of an additional 578 acres of residential land that wraps around the primary site of the area’s first eco-industrial park.

The acquisition brings the size of the ReVenture park project up to 1,245 acres that includes a mix of proposed residential, retail, office and industrial spaces on its site, located near the Gaston and Mecklenburg County line, that once served as a textile and dye production factory.

“It’s rare to have a property this large with so many diverse attributes,” said Forsite President Tom McKittrick. “We have a truly unique opportunity to rethink traditional models and create the next level of sustainable development.”

The residential housing component would create a community where “sustainability is ingrained into people’s lifestyles and is woven through the fabric of the community,” a news release said. It would consist of energy efficient homes powered with renewable energy and built with recycled materials. The project will include a significant portion of protected natural area and homes will be connected via an extensive greenway/trail system.

Forsite Development has engaged UNC Charlotte’s Urban Design program to help mold the initial vision and design principals that will be incorporated throughout the project.

“This is a unique and interesting project,” said professor David Walters, director of UNC Charlotte’s Urban Design program. “It has great potential for creating a national model for a sustainable community in the face of future uncertainties about climate change and energy supplies. The graduate Urban Design Program, and its research arm, the Design+Society Research Center, are ideally placed to explore community design solutions that go beyond current thinking yet are financially feasible in a recovering property market.”

Key planning principals include renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, natural area protection, community gardens, extensive trail connections, water conservation and recycling.

The announcement comes after the park’s primary site was taken off of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of highly contaminated Superfund sites earlier this year. Plans for what was once the park’s centerpiece, a gasification incinerator that converts trash into energy, have indefinitely been put on hold due to stalled negotiations with Duke Energy to buy power.

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