Football

Early plans for the Carolina Panthers site in Rock Hill are in. Here are some details.

The application is in to rezone and annex property in Rock Hill for the Carolina Panthers headquarters.

Rock Hill, York County and state leaders have worked for months with the NFL team to bring a practice site and related facilities across the state line into South Carolina. Gov. Henry McMaster, Mayor John Gettys, team owner David Tepper and others celebrated the effort at a downtown pep rally this summer.

Now an application with preliminary plans for the site are in to Rock Hill planners. Here are 10 takeaways from the proposed project as submitted:

The Hutchison Family Ltd Partnership has applied for annexation and rezoning. The property now is a doughnut hole of unincorporated York County, surrounded by Rock Hill city limits. The listed area on the application is 235 acres. It’s just off and west of I-77 between its Cherry Road and Dave Lyle Boulevard exits.

The plan is to develop 234 acres. The address is off Eden Terrace Road.

The application describes the project as “a master plan concept for the property that is an innovative mixed-use, pedestrian friendly community anchored by the practice/training facilities and headquarters offices with emphasis on retail/entertainment, employment, research and development, residential dwellings, recreation, and open space uses.”

Sketches and development plans in the zoning application are preliminary. They’re heavily dependent, the application notes, on market demand and will take years to fully develop. More specific plans will come from continued development work between the property owners and city.

The developed area to include the practice facility, headquarters, sports/entertainment venues and a mixed use village sits at the center of the project. It has new roads encircling it, including those coming off a proposed new I-77 interchange.

A sketch plan shows outdoor practice fields to the south, with headquarters nearest them and a practice/training facility right beside the headquarters. The sports/entertainment venue would come next, heading toward Nations Ford Road. A medical office would sit opposite smaller fields from the training site and headquarters. Interim parking around it could be developed in the future.

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An early sketch plan submitted to Rock Hill planners shows a layout for the Carolina Panthers facility coming to the city. City of Rock Hill

Office, employment and mixed-use sites will come in an area running the length of I-77. It includes the interchange on the project side of the interstate. It also includes property south of the main development. Other possible uses include retail, restaurant and hospitality. A sketch plan lists that area as future development. Up to half of the I-77 frontage could be developed to allow for signs and other parts of the development.

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Current plans have the center part of the Carolina Panthers property, which includes the headquarters and practice site, in development first in Rock Hill City of Rock Hill

Property to the far south and west of the site lists accessory uses, structures, infrastructure and open space as its uses. Plans show much of it as Duke Energy right-of-way. An outskirt site, on at Eden Terrance and Patriot Parkway, will have a mixed-use designation and provide an entrance. A new road will provide at entrance on the Mt. Gallant Road end, too.

The application defines practice/training facilities as “indoor, outdoor and partially covered athletic fields, weight rooms, wellness facilities, training facilities, spectator viewing areas, and associated offices/facilities whether associated with the professional football activities and operations or similar uses and organizations.”

The application also defines a special events plan. That refers to “major special events that may take place on the property.” It also defines a sports/entertainment venue as a “facility or facilities designed for use as a sports park or stadium” that could include practice fields, parking, offices, live or broadcast performances, concerts, festivals or other public assemblies.

The plan notes the project may ask for buildings taller than current rules allow. It doesn’t mention how tall. There is a provision for lower buildings nearer certain areas. Certain facilities also will look to be exempt from some current building design standards.

Annexation and zoning cases must go to the city planning commission before Rock Hill City Council makes a final decision. The next scheduled planning commission meeting is at 6 p.m. Nov. 5 at City Hall. The first City Council meeting after that date is on Nov. 11. Neither meeting has a published agenda yet.

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John Marks covers community growth, municipalities and general news mainly in the Fort Mill and York County areas. He began writing for the Herald and sister papers in 2005 and won dozens of South Carolina Press Association and other awards since.
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