CHARLOTTE-Local officials will be embroiled shortly in a long-brewing lawsuit involving SouthPark mall. Residents have until Dec. 18 to file the suit which seeks to block the project’s recently approved 50% expansion. The number of court actions in other nearby markets is also rising.

For example, residents in Hickory, NC, 50 miles north of Downtown Charlotte, sued to prevent a Wal-Mart store from opening. East Charlotte residents have legally fought off a shopping center. And in Davidson, NC, a Charlotte suburb, developers are preparing to go to court over the town’s recent efforts to regulate the use of land.

Fanning the flames of battle even more is a shortage of open land as the Charlotte region continues to be the focus of ongoing development in all its sectors. In a published report, David Owens, a land-use law expert at the University of North Carolina’s Institute of Government, says today’s big development companies have more money invested and are willing to fight harder.

The big players consider going to court a necessary part of doing business but lesser operators are not as visible as they once were and don’t fight as frequently as they used to over land issues, Owens says.

Lawsuits are being filed throughout the Carolinas, particularly in the Raleigh area, which is growing even faster than the Charlotte region. Last year, for example, Durham residents sued a developer, seeking to block his plans for a new mall. They lost while using some of the same arguments expected to be raised over the SouthPark expansion.

Charlotte lost a big battle in the spring when Albemarle Road residents sued to stop a shopping center and threw a legal wrench into the city’s rezoning process. Charlotte officials halted all major development projects until they could find a way to give residents more of a voice in their decisions.

.In another published report, local lawyer Ken Davies, who represents SouthPark, says residents across the region have become more determined to have their voices heard. Davies thinks the number of lawsuits over development issues will proliferate as the Carolinas become increasingly less rural.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Dig Deeper

GlobeSt Net Lease Spring 2024Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.