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Great Article Describing the Unique Vision of Langtree at the Lake
MOORESVILLE – The World Health Organization predicts that by 2050, 70 percent of Earth’s roughly 9 billion people will live in cities.
One such sprawling, mini-metropolis will be Langtree at the Lake based off Interstate 77’s Exit 31.
The 293-acre complex, which may cost around $1 billion by the project’s end, is split between four quadrants on both sides of I-77. Right now, 12 acres in one 58-acre parcel off Alcove Road are under construction.
Langtree’s master architect, Stephen Overcash of Charlotte’s Overcash Demmitt Architects, sought to demonstrate how Langtree will symbolize the future of luxury and sustainability. He’s designed the development’s main hotel, which will cost roughly $90 million, and dubbed it the EthoSphere.
Steve Welly, president of RL West, which will co-own the EthoSphere with Pharos Hospitality of Charlotte, said the hotel’s chain will be announced within the next two to four weeks.
Welly added that it will have roughly 215 guest rooms and stand 12 stories tall. He hopes to break ground on the hotel late this summer and have its grand opening in April 2015.
“The hotel will have a lake, marina type theme,” Overcash said. “It’ll be a very serene experience; there won’t be a lot of extra, bright colors.”
According the Overcash Demmitt’s website, an EthoSphere vertically integrates “a mix of uses in an urban or new urban area, minimizing its environmental impact, and reflecting the social, philanthropic and moral ideologies of its community.”
Overcash coined the term and got it trademarked after creating 13 tenets that define an EthoSphere. Some tenets include being LEED-certified, having a flexible design scheme and engaging the public via restaurants, shops, entertainment and green spaces on the first level.
“My hope is that the term becomes very well used, and we won’t have to define it,” Overcash said. “Mooresville will have the first EthoSphere, and there’s potential interest to build one in the Middle East. The concept just makes so much sense.”
Part of what will make the brick-and-stone EthoSphere versatile, according to Overcash, is that it’ll be a mixed-use building with interchangeable floors, meaning its hotel rooms, office spaces and shops can switch roles over time.
Overcash said column placements within the design scheme are flexible, making it easier to morph a set of cubicles into a hotel suite.
“It’s trying to be designed so that it won’t be torn down in 35 years, so that it can change with the times, Overcash said.”
Welly said the EthoSphere’s first floor boutique shops may include sliding outer doors, allowing the fragrance of blossoms from Agora’s Garden and music from an outdoor amphitheater inside.
One shop may be all about “saying yes to the dress” since Welly believes rooftop weddings at the EthoSphere will be plentiful.
The building’s second and third floors will house offices, while the fourth through ninth floors will be home away from home for hotel guests. Floors 10 to 12 will contain residential condo space, complete with a rooftop pool and bar.
Welly said the there’s been a “fair amount of interest” in the hotel’s office space, but he can’t announce tenets yet.
Adam Zembruski, president of Pharos, said Pharos will run the hotel’s daily operations. Pharos has joined the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re really excited for greater engagement with the Mooresville community,” he said. “We want this to be the center of attention. Everybody’s welcome; it’s going to be highly active.”
Zembruski said the hotel will include a full-service restaurant, room service, an outdoor pool for guests, a concierge desk, suites, a rooftop bar, 20,000 square feet of meeting space, a fitness center and a major business center for those who need to work on the go.
“Most of the guestrooms are going to have lake views, which we’re excited about,” Zembruski said.
Additionally, the hotel’s food staff can provide room service to residents of the tower and also cater to those who work in the building.
“That’s the whole idea of the EthoSphere, keeping everyone connected through a service mentality,” Zembruski said.
Welly added that in the past, Lowe’s corporate employees commuted to Charlotte’s Ballantyne for meetings and are excited by the EthoSphere’s meeting spaces. Overcash said the spaces will accommodate anywhere from 12 people for a board meeting to 800 people in a banquet hall.
“For people that work at Lowes, we’d like to get some sort of trolley between Lowes and our campus,” Welly said.
Overcash added a connected five-story parking garage will house 750 cars as well as convention center space like a large ballroom. He believes shops around its perimeter will hide its façade.
Welly and Overcash both said an “edgy” bowling alley might be added to the mix as part of this connected space. It could include a live music venue, nightclub element, and perhaps a sushi restaurant.
“There’s no place to go dance or listen to live music here that I’ve found, and that’s what brings women in, frankly, and when you bring women in, you get guys to come,” Welly said. “The vision of the entire project is a sleep, eat, play, work, entertain environment that’s on the lake and off the highway. We’re trying to create this vision of a city.”
Welly anticipates it’ll take between five and eight years to complete his entire vision, but he knows there will be walking trails around the whole four miles of lakefront property for the public to enjoy.
Rick Howard, the original developer of Langtree at the Lake, said that’s what it’s all about.
“My whole original vision was how can we open up the majority of this property, if not all of it, to the public?” he said.