Wegmans is one step closer to bringing one of two potential stores to Cary.
This one would anchor a development that would bring nearly 160,000 square feet of retail, including the 130,000-square-foot Wegmans, and office space to 21 acres on the southeast corner of Davis Drive and Airport Boulevard in western Cary, adjacent to the Twin Lakes subdivision. Two multi-tenant retail or office buildings and a drive-through for either a restaurant or a bank also is proposed for the site.
This would be the first phase of a two-phase project for LeylandAlliance, a New York-based real estate development company. The first phase made it past a major hurdle Thursday when the Cary Town Council approved a sketch development plan. The council was considering whether to allow the drive-through and a building larger than 100,000 square feet on the site.
“The expectation is we will break ground in the spring of 2018,” said Jason Hess, senior vice president of LeylandAlliance’s commercial division, adding that stores could be open by mid to late summer 2019.
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For the second phase, Hess said LeylandAlliance proposes mostly residential “to complement the commercial and the Wegmans,” as well as a mix of office and restaurants on an adjacent 11 acres. He said the company hopes to file documents with the town to kick off the phase two effort in the next six months.
But a site plan still has to be submitted to staff for approval before construction can begin on phase one, said Doug Loveland, a Cary senior planner. This would be a multi-month process requiring several rounds of review, he said.
Wegmans, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., has a fervent fan base. Its 94 grocery stores – scattered throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts – boast a “European open-air market feel.” Stores feature a pharmacy, ready-made meals, a pizza shop and a coffee shop, as well as groceries.
“This site has everything we look for, and we’re eager to join the community,” Wegmans spokeswoman Valerie Fox said in an email. “We don’t have an anticipated opening date at this time, but we’re looking forward to offering incredible customer service, the best ingredients, restaurant-quality prepared food, and consistent, low prices in Cary.”
The Davis Drive Wegmans is among at least four the company plans to build in the Triangle. It already has announced its intent for a Cary store off Cary Towne Boulevard, as well as one in Raleigh on Wake Forest Road between Six Forks Road and Interstate 440 and one in Chapel Hill that would replace a 14-acre Performance AutoMall dealership on U.S. 15-501.
Columbia Development Group, a South Carolina-based real estate development firm, submitted a rezoning request in April to build a mixed-use development on 92 acres near Cary Towne Center that would bring the other Wegmans to Cary. A public hearing for that rezoning case has yet to be scheduled, according to town staff.
“The Wegmans part is exciting, because it is the No. 1 grocery chain, and we might have the possibility or potential of having two Wegmans,” Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said last year. “So that would be really exciting to have in Cary.”
Leasing efforts for the rest of the western Cary project already have begun through Charter Realty & Development, a real estate investment, development and leasing company.
“We’re looking for a pretty broad mix of everything,” said Dan Zelson, a principal at Charter Realty. “We are really happy to work with local, regionals and nationals. We do want to have the project be a mixed-use development, so office, medical and all those things are really important to us.”
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-829-4845: @KTrogdon