May 02--A proposed new LendingTree headquarters in Pineville could include restaurants and retail space if the redevelopment of an old mill moves forward, town officials said this week.
The Charlotte-based company, which matches borrowers with mortgage lenders, said last month that it was considering moving its headquarters to the Cone Mill site to accommodate a fast-growing workforce. On May 8, the Pineville town council will consider approving a Memorandum of Understanding with the company that would allow LendingTree to further investigate the site.
Such an agreement would formalize the partnership with the company and let it create a detailed development plan, including traffic studies. If the town council would approve that plan -- and if LendingTree remained committed to the project -- the next step would be to negotiate a master development agreement, the town said.
Last month, LendingTree said the opportunity to revitalize Cone Mill was exciting but still in the early "evaluation stages." The company is "taking a very disciplined approach in deciding what option or options will best suit the needs for our employees, our shareholders and the community," a spokeswoman added.
If it proceeds, LendingTree's Pineville proposal would bring several hundred jobs to the 30-acre site, the town said. The plan "calls for the development of new restaurant and retail space to complement downtown's mix of restaurants and retailers," it added. The company would also look at ways to encourage employees to walk and bike at the site and to provide a shuttle to the city's light rail line.
Pineville has been actively looking for a partner to develop the Cone Mill property at 436 Cone Ave., which has structures dating to 1892, according to a presentation on the proposed project. The town bought the vacant mill in 2015.
LendingTree -- founded in 1996 by CEO Doug Lebda and currently headquartered in Ballantyne -- announced plans in November 2016 to relocate to two buildings in SouthPark, but the company began evaluating its options after its headcount projections increased significantly.
Rick Rothacker: 704-358-5170, @rickrothacker
(c)2018 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)
Visit The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.) at www.charlotteobserver.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
© Tribune Content Agency, source Regional News