Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/davidso9/davidsonarchivesandspecialcollections.org/wp-content/plugins/shortcode-exec-php/shortcode-exec-php-class.php on line 148

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/davidso9/davidsonarchivesandspecialcollections.org/wp-content/plugins/shortcode-exec-php/shortcode-exec-php-class.php on line 148
Luxury Residential Developments

Trump National Golf Club

Founded in 1999, The Point Golf Club was designed by Greg Norman (acclaimed former professional golfer, golf course designer, and entrepreneur) to serve the rapidly developing community. However, in 2011 the club’s tenor changed significantly when Trump International Realty (originally founded by the one and only Donald Trump) purchased the club. Renamed Trump National Golf Club, according to Trump the club now “provides more than a membership-it’s a true luxury lifestyle.” Undoubtedly the crown jewel of the The Point, recent trends suggest membership will continue to grow as homes are built and purchased throughout The Point.

Mallard Head Country Club

Entrance to Mallard Head, one of the first country clubs on Lake Norman.

 

Opened in 1979, Mallard Head Country Club was one of the first country clubs on the shores of Lake Norman. The 18-hole course was designed by George Cobb (1914-1986), a noted golf course designer (Courtesy of Visit NC). The course is located off of Brawley School Road, near The Point in Mooresville. The neighborhood surrounding the course is sprinkled with homes built in the 1980s as well as more recent construction. View more photos of Mallard Head Country Club here.

Back to timeline.

The Peninsula Community

Originally developed in 1989 by Crescent Communities, The Peninsula is a planned community in Cornelius, NC that seeks to facilitate “involved residents working together to continually improve and enhance the quality of life in the Peninsula” as well as “use our people, resources, and energy to thrive in a safe and beautiful community that is respectful of its members and the natural beauty of our environment.”  Marked by distinctive blue mailboxes, homes located in The Peninsula are linked by pedestrian friendly streets and are generally walking distance from Lake Norman. New homes are currently under construction as both costumer’s interest and prices rebound after the financial crisis.

This community features a country club, golf course, yacht club, marina, and many luxury homes. We visited The Peninsula to see what this development looks like today. View our findings here.

Back to timeline.

A New Market Emerges from Under Lake Norman

Following Duke Power (formerly the Catawba Power Company, now Duke Energy)’s construction of the Cowans Ford Dam, Lake Norman resolutely consumed acres upon acres of agricultural land between 1959 and 1964. Both individual landowners and Duke Power found themselves holding extremely valuable lake front property, rich with the potential for access to fishing, water sports, and other leisure activities.

Initially, migration to the Lake Norman’s edges was tentative, largely due to lack of road access. Through the 1970s, small cottages and weekend homes began to appear, soon followed by small clubs such as the Outrigger Yacht Club and Mallard Head Country Club.

However, with the completion of a large portion of I-77 by 1972, access to Lake Norman improved and increased construction commenced. In their book “Lake Norman Our Inland Sea,” Bill and Diana Gleasner claim that the construction of I-77 was the turning point in Lake Norman’s development, “there was a time when people stood on highways around the lake offering lake lots for sale for $1,000. There weren’t many takers back then. With the completion of I-77, the entire lake became more accessible to urban centers to the south and north. Slowly, development began creeping north to the part of the lake that had always been agricultural. Today in four counties that surround the lake, there are more than 25,000 residents who like calling Lake Norman home. Freelance writer Chuck McShane adds that by 1975 “the trickle of growth—a cluster of cabins here, a new marina there—grew to a steady stream of homes and restaurant.”

In fact, in their book “Lake Norman Our Inland Sea,” Bill and Diana Gleasner claim that the construction of I-77 was a significant turning point in Lake Norman’s development, “there was a time when people stood on highways around the lake offering lake lots for sale for $1,000. There weren’t many takers back then. With the completion of I-77, the entire lake became more accessible to urban centers to the south and north. Slowly, development began creeping north to the part of the lake that had always been agricultural. Today in four counties that surround the lake, there are more than 25,000 residents who like calling Lake Norman home (Bill & Diana Gleasner, Lake Norman Our Inland Sea).” 

Growth was sustained through the 1980s, but as Charlotte became a hub for industry and finance the desire for permanent, commuter homes on Lake Norman materialized. Development and real estate agencies quickly capitalized, and planned communities such as The Peninsula (1989) in Cornelius and The Point in Mooresville (mid-1990s) emerged. With large homes, view of the lake, and exclusive country clubs, these locations embody luxury.

Home purchases and construction in these communities and others around Lake Norman continue today. Despite fluctuations in the housing market and critiques of classism, the communities are thriving and receive credit for extensive philanthropy efforts.

The creation of Lake Norman completely changed the Piedmont landscape, but the luxury real estate market that emerged from the depths defines the region’s present and future.

Back to timeline.

The Point Community

The Point, a large Mooresville subdivision with 18 miles of Lake Norman shoreline, was planned during the 1990s. The community plan is available here. Today, the subdivision is home to over 500 families. Crescent Communities manages the development.

The Point has specific architectural guidelines. Individuals who choose to build a home in The Point must work with one of the subdivision’s designated builders. While many homes were built between 1995 and 2005, building in this neighborhood continues through 2014. The golf course at The Point was designed by Greg Norman in 1999 and serves as a major attraction for residents and their guests. The community is very proud of its vacation feel and country club lifestyle. In fact, signage and common areas are inspired by Nantucket (Courtesy of The Point website).

Crescent Communities transferred ownership of the club and golf course to its members in 2011. However, in 2012, Donald Trump bought the golf course and poured millions into the site, transforming it into Trump National Golf Club of Charlotte. View photos of The Point and Trump National here.

Back to timeline.

Crescent Communities

The Duke Power affiliated Crescent Communities was founded in 1969 to develop Duke’s holdings, initially focusing on forestry management before their first residential community, The Peninsula, began sales in 1989. Still focused on building “communities with room to thrive,” Crescent has also developed First Industrial Park in Charlotte and is currently working on transforming Potomac Yard, South Carolina into an award-winning resort with their Palmetto Bluff development.

Back to timeline.

The Housing Bubble Bursts

A home for sale with Trump Real Estate

A home for sale with Trump Real Estate

In 2005, The Economist wrote that housing prices had “risen so fast, for so long” that a drop-off was inevitable. The 12.5% growth seen in the first quarter of 2005, spurred by historically low interest rates and lack of confidence in the stock market, could not be sustained and there would be international consequences.

The Economist’s prediction proved insightful, as in 2008 the collapse of sub-prime mortgage bubble and bankruptcy of Lehmann Brothers marked the beginning of the financial crisis. Until roughly 2013, home sales shrank and the luxury real estate market, including around Lake Norman, looked grim. Loans became harder to obtain and newly constructed homes were left empty for long periods of time.

Only recently, with the stock market’s tentative recovery and a drop in unemployment, have sales accelerated. New homes in The Point, Peninsula, and other high-end developments are under construction and real estate agents argue there has never been a better time to buy.

Back to timeline.

Defining the “McMansion”

A home in The Point

One of the homes that some would describe as a “McMansion”

When discussing luxury real estate around Lake Norman, on catch phrase appears with remarkable consistency: the McMansion.

While homes located in the The Point and Peninsula often fit the McMansion stereotype, the term’s definition is far from concrete. In fact, the meaning of “McMansion” is not only difficult to pin down the term’s origin, but also susceptible to critique as journalists often stereotype wealthy buyers.

Many writers have attempted to chronicle the McMansion’s development or predict its future, but perhaps the most logical approach would be to accept the trend in all its diversity. Outside of being large, a “typical” McMansion is impossible to describe and incorporates a huge variety of architectural styles, including nods to the neoclassic and gothic, and transcend local and vernacular influence. Some may reference Spanish villas, others medieval castles.

McMansions will likely continue to be the object of derision in the coming years, but the style has proven to be resilient and survived numerous critics’ death knells. In the years to come, the McMansion, and all its large, exotic glory will remain a presence overlooking Lake Norman in The Point and the Peninsula communities.

Back to timeline.

Lake Norman’s First Residential Developments

Early development on Lake Norman.

Early development on Lake Norman.

As our timeline suggests, residential development on Lake Norman was a gradual process throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Although Duke Power leased some property for summer homes, most of the shoreline was undeveloped.

A 1964 article in State Magazine states, “Even with homes, summer cottages, docks, and boathouses being constructed along its shores, Lake Norman appears almost untouched to many observers, its that big” (Harry Snook). 

According to Cindy Jacobs in Around Lake Norman, many of the first private developers were former farmers. With their farmland now sitting underwater on lakefront property, selling or leasing land for home sites was a profitable endeavor.

The earliest subdivisions around the lake include Moonlite Bay, Kiser’s Island, Catalina Cove, Bonanza, and Island Forest (courtesy of Stallings-Sigmon Collection). The Charlotte Observer also mentions an early lakefront subdivision called Malibu Pointe (Bruce Henderson, “Lake Norman at 50, Public and Private“).

Back to timeline.

The Peninsula Club

Privately owned by the roughly 700 members since 2000, The Peninsula Club seeks “to provide an exceptional lakefront, resort-style country experience for our membership, their families and guests in a welcoming and friendly environment.”

Golf Course

A map of the Peninsula Club Golf course and surrounding residential lots.

 

With a Rees Jones designed golf course, tennis facilities, swimming, social events, and an idyllic view of Lake Norman, The Peninsula Club has been described as the “intersection of real life and a dream.” Membership is not limited to those living in the Peninsula community and frequent philanthropy events raise hundreds of thousand of dollars for local charities.

Learn more at: www.thepeninsulaclub.com

Back to timeline.