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The History of Birkdale Village


The Beginning

In the mid-1990s, Huntersville and other towns near Lake Norman adopted new development codes to manage rapid growth, promoting new urbanist and mixed-use development. Built on a 52-acre former equine farm, Birkdale Village began taking shape in 1999 when Crosland and Pappas Properties gained rezoning approval and launched construction on the mixed-use destination, the first large-scale project of its kind in North Carolina. Designed by Shook Kelley and The Housing Studio, and LandDesign, the New England-inspired, pedestrian-oriented development came to fruition in 2003 with luxury multifamily set atop Main Street-style retail, office space, and a movie theater, all surrounding a central town green spanning the property’s length.

Upon opening, Birkdale Village gained local and international attention, quickly becoming the community’s mainstay and winning an International Council of Shopping Centers Design and Development Award in 2004. Learn more about the development’s inception via the Urban Land Institute.

New Partnerships

In February 2007, Nuveen Real Estate (Nuveen), a global investment manager and subsidiary of TIAA, entered a joint venture partnership with Ohio-based SITE Centers, which acquired Birkdale Village in 2003, for asset ownership. Nuveen formed a new joint venture partnership with redevelopment specialist North American Properties (NAP) and purchased the property outright in November 2020.

Focus on Hospitality & Modernizing

Nuveen Real Estate (Nuveen) entered a joint venture partnership with North American Properties (NAP) to modernize Birkdale Village through value-add placemaking investments and an infusion of hospitality-driven service. NAP has since overseen management, leasing and parking services in the Village.

Post-acquisition, NAP immediately refined operations, including hosting hospitality training for all departments and implementing new daily processes like street sweeping and pressure washing. It also rebranded the Village and expanded its programming calendar to feature over 100 annual events.

During a Huntersville Town Commission meeting in October 2021, ownership presented its vision to bring the outdated Birkdale Village back into relevance through a $55 million retrofit and received unanimous approval.


Ownership launched its redevelopment of Birkdale Village in January 2022 and delivered a reimagined guest experience that September. The revitalization project focused heavily on enlarging and enhancing the public realm and implementing new experiential amenities. At the heart of the Village sits a new 6,000-square-foot Plaza with soft seating, a covered performance stage and LED screen, and public restrooms, all anchored by Concierge.

Another core upgrade was the activation of a once-empty greenspace called The Grove, now home to our Tiny Retail District with four 200-square-foot pods designed to serve as incubators for short-term pop-ups from small, local business owners. Other major cosmetic improvements included the addition of brand-expressive storefronts and three standalone retail jewel boxes, the installation of digital directories and public Wi-Fi, refreshed building facades, and the creation of a social district, allowing guests to purchase and enjoy to-go drinks from onsite restaurants while perusing the property. View the transformation digitally.

Present & Future

Aside from the physical changes, an overhaul of the merchandise mix has also helped restore Birkdale Village’s regional prominence. Over the last three years, NAP and Nuveen have executed 39 leasing deals with novel brands and legacy tenants. More than 20 new concepts have planted flags in the Village to date, and almost 40% of the lineup is represented by local business owners/franchisees.

While common area construction was largely completed in fall 2022, tenant buildouts are still underway. Since late 2021, Birkdale Village has celebrated the openings of 19 new businesses such as Anthropologie, Kendra Scott, Sephora, and Warby Parker, with six more set to open by Q1 2024. In addition, ownership has dedicated capital to seven legacy tenants thus far to complete relocations, expansions, and/or renovations.