Charlotte's Crescent Communities is planning a massive project in one of Mecklenburg County's last pockets of serene, undeveloped land, reflecting the company's strong rebound since filing for bankruptcy protection in 2009 and reorganizing a year later. The developer is partnering with Lincoln Harris on the proposed River District, hoping to add thousands of homes, shops, hotels and offices on 1,300 acres between Charlotte Douglas International Airport and the Catawba River.
It's the latest sign of a newly aggressive Crescent. As a division of Duke Energy, the old Crescent Resources helped turn Lake Norman into a residential housing hotspot before expanding into other Southeast markets. Duke sold a 49% stake in Crescent to a Morgan Stanley-related real-estate fund for $1.4 billion in 2006, just in time for the 2007-09 recession. The company has rebounded with the housing market, with revenues tripling between 2012-14. It is investing heavily in downtown Charlotte with a Whole Foods Market-led retail center under construction and an office tower and large mixed-use project proposed in the Second Ward neighborhood.
Located 10 miles from downtown, River...