CORNELIUS – Kevin Mahl and Jamie Rolewicz are two Cornelius businessmen bringing a lot of attention to a small town.

Mahl and Rolewicz, owners of Champion Tire and Wheel, are developing a 300,000-square-foot commercial space off Bailey Road known as the Cornelius Commerce Center.

The site will house a 60,000-square-foot Hyde Park on Bailey (an expansion of Hyde Park Storage Suites on Northline Drive) and a 20,000-square-foot White Lightening All-Star Cheerleading studio. The remaining space has not been identified.

“They’re not only commercial developers and very successful businessmen, but they are community builders,” said Bill Russell, chairman of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce. “Hyde Park Storage Suites is for the high-end collector, and it’s also a small business incubator.”

Demand for storage suites at Hyde Park Storage Suites led to the development of Hyde Park on Bailey, owners said.

Storage suites are often used by customers as a get-a-way man cave with climate control, Wi-Fi, TV, phone and 50-amp service. Unit sizes range from 880 to 3,000 square feet.

The latter is large enough to fit the tallest RV or furnishings of a four-bedroom home. Units will be sold for $105 a square foot and leased for $8.50 a square foot. About two-thirds of the to-be-built units have already been sold or leased.

Many owners like to customize their space into an ideal place to pursue their hobbies, whether it is car-collecting, motor homes, woodworking or just a place to go to get away.

One of those owners is NASCAR driver John Andretti.

Andretti uses his space at the existing Hyde Park for anything from storing the family Christmas tree to working on racecars.

“We had the typical storage unit, where you get this little bitty space and you have it so jammed up that you never go to it, because there is no way you want to dig out your stuff to find the one thing in the back,” Andretti said. “Now we have it where it’s organized, and we can get through it. It just opened up a lot of opportunities for all the things we had. I like things organized."

Speaker of the House Thom Tillis said he was happy to see the project come to fruition during the May 17 groundbreaking for the Cornelius Commerce Center.

“This has an enormously positive impact on every single one of you because millions of dollars in tax base that will be here is commercial,” Tillis said at the time. “The more that we have of that the less they have to rely on your homes and your property to pay for the services they have in town.”

Mahl and Rolewicz see a tremendous amount of potential as the Bailey Road corridor develops. They have outlined plans for future growth.

The second phase would extend the property on Bailey Road all the way out to U.S. 21.

“If we do that, we could see another 400,000 square feet of development potential including office, retail and industrial flat,” Maul said. “The Bailey Road corridor has become an important commercial corridor for the town. It’s an important east-west connector for traffic. Longer term, we’d like to see how we could get access to the interstate which would give us another 80 acres of potential development space.”

Maul said the third phase would add another 1 million square feet of developable space.

Cornelius Commerce Park will be at Bailey Road between Old Statesville and Statesville roads.

Details: www.corneliuscommercecenter.com.