CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Crescent Communities today celebrated breaking ground on Alexander Village, a 63-acre multi-use development at the gateway to Charlotte's fast-growing University Research Park. A 320-unit luxury garden-style apartment community marks the first phase of development and features design elements inspired by Crescent's signature Palmetto Bluff Resort in the Lowcountry of South Carolina as well as the history of the property. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130402/CL87220LOGO ) Plans for Alexander Village include a hotel, up to 75,000 square feet of retail, 250,000 square feet of office and Crescent Alexander Village (formerly Circle Alexander Village), the luxury apartment community that sits on 27 acres of the site. "The design for Crescent Alexander Village combines elements of resort-style living with classic designs, resulting in a great new addition to the vibrancy of this submarket," said Ben Collins, vice president with Crescent's multifamily group, which expects to begin preleasing Crescent Alexander Village this fall with the first units available in early 2014. Named for one of Charlotte's founding families and the previous land owners, Crescent Alexander Village is located on Senator Royall Drive, just south of Mallard Creek Church Road. The 'main street' in the village-style community, Graham Ridge Drive, was named in honor of Graham Alexander, who granted the land to the University Research Park for the purposes of expansion. The vernacular classical design of the buildings, including the clubhouse's center stonework, is designed to be reminiscent of how stone homes originally built in the 1700s looked as they were expanded to make room for families growing in wealth and size. Crescent also turned to its award-winning Palmetto Bluff resort community, located in Bluffton, S.C., for conceptual inspiration of several elements of the $33.6 millionAlexander Village community, including a state-of-the-art health club whose numerous windows and outdoor yoga lawn reflect the seaside resort's approach to incorporating the outdoors into a fitness environment. The health club overlooks a scenic pond with a fitness trail, as do eight cottage units, which are modeled after cottage-style living at Palmetto Bluff. The cottages at Crescent Alexander Village are perfect for working professionals or corporate apartments. An amphitheater and expansive, wooded dog park add to the amenities near the health club.