For decades, Hall Family Farm has drawn families from all over Charlotte for pick-your-own strawberries, corn mazes and hayrides — even as Ballantyne grew on all sides.
But this agrarian oasis is coming to an end: The Hall family has sold the 11-acre property to Novant Health, owner Kevin Hall confirmed. Records with the Mecklenburg County register of deeds put the purchase price at $21 million.
2019 is likely to be the last season for farm activities. Hall Family Farm has leased the property back from Novant for this year, and they plan to have a normal strawberry and pumpkin season, Hall said.
However, construction is expected to start soon after the fall season ends.
The sale has long felt inevitable.
Hall Family Farm is only a mile and a half from Ballantyne Corporate Park, and right across the street from a relatively new Publix-anchored shopping center.
The Hall family first started farming the land nearly a century ago. They were among the last remaining hold-outs as development gobbled up farm after farm as Charlotte sprawled.
Novant plans to build a large medical facility on the property.
The hospital group has plans for a 161,000-square-foot medical center with 36 beds, 2 operating rooms, and a dedicated c-section operating room.
They’re still waiting on final approval from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, and the property will also need rezoning approval by the city of Charlotte.
Novant’s total investment is expected to be $153 million. If all goes according to plan, the hospital would open in 2023.
“Novant Health is committed to improving the health of our communities throughout Mecklenburg County and beyond. In order to deliver on this commitment, we must ensure acute care resources expand to reach our growing suburban populations. Simply put, we must meet patients where they are,” said Roland Bibeau, president and COO of Novant Health Matthews Medical Center, in a statement.
“A hospital in south Charlotte, serving Ballantyne and surrounding communities, will make vital services more accessible and convenient for residents who may otherwise feel the care they need is out-of-reach. Based on the success of our other community hospitals, we believe this hospital will improve the quality of, and access to, care in southern Mecklenburg County.”
Hall Family Farm is relocating to Lancaster, South Carolina.
The family has purchased a new property roughly 14 miles to the south, and has been readying it since 2017. They expect to have their first strawberry crop ready for picking in 2021, Hall said.
Hopefully, their doughnut sundaes will return, too.