Highline Partners acquires FUSE District site in Gastonia for mixed-use project

By Collin Huguley – Staff Writer, Charlotte Business Journal

Oct 23, 2023

The next project at Gastonia’s Franklin Urban Sports and Entertainment District is set to begin in the coming months after a land sale there last month.

An entity affiliated with Highline Partners recently acquired a 6-acre site at 615 W. Franklin Blvd. in Gastonia for just over $2 million, according to Gaston County real estate records. Highline’s Mark Miller confirmed to the Charlotte Business Journal that the developer had acquired the FUSE District site for the development of a mixed-use project called Franklin Yards. Miller said Highline is planning to begin construction in the late first quarter or early second quarter of 2024, and added it will take two years to complete.

The plans for Franklin Yards have called for over 250 market-rate apartments and 5,300 square feet of commercial space fronting Franklin Boulevard, according to city documents from earlier this year. Miller has said previously the estimated investment for the project is “north of” $50 million.

Highline’s project team for Franklin Yards includes Axiom Architecture, Bolton & Menk, Southpark Interiors, and Rylake Construction.

The developer has been under contract on the Franklin Yards site since 2022. The land was acquired from Gaston County Family YMCA Inc. It was also the former Central Branch YMCA site. The site has been viewed as a critical one at the FUSE District and has been eyed by local leaders for redevelopment for years. The Gaston Gazette reported back in 2018 that it had been formally put up for sale.

Franklin Yards is one of several projects in the works as part of the next wave of development at the FUSE District. Other investments are being plotted by Lenox Development Group and Lansing Melbourne Group, which also redeveloped the former Trenton Mill site at FUSE into loft apartments.

The FUSE District is centered on CaroMont Health Park, the publicly-funded ballpark that is home to the Gastonia Honey Hunters baseball team.