The owner of the Ridgewood Shopping Center on Wade Avenue has dropped plans to replace part of the development with a 150-unit apartment complex.
Ridgewood S.C. LLC, the owner of the center, filed revised plans with the city earlier this month that do not include adding apartments. After Ridgewood proposed its plans in March, some neighbors expressed concerns over adding a residential component to the center.
Andrew Techet, one of Ridgewood’s owners, said those comments were taken into account. He said the cost of the project, and concern about the large number of apartments now under construction in Raleigh, also played a role in the decision.
Ridgewood had initially proposed building an apartment complex on land that is now home to Tripps Restaurant and Bruegger’s Bagels. The 79-foot-tall building would have also included office and retail space.
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Techet said the project would have cost about $35 million and construction would not have begun until 2018.
“The numbers were really marginal, particularly if you got to a point where you had an overbuilt apartment market,” he said.
Although the pace of new apartment construction in the Triangle has slowed, the region’s inventory still grew by 2.9 percent, or 4,055 new units, last year, according to MPF Research, which analyzes apartment data in 100 U.S. metro markets. Demand for new units over that same period totaled 4,242, according to MPF, which helps explain why occupancy levels and rents continue to rise.
The region’s occupancy rate in the fourth quarter was 94.4 percent, up from 94.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2014. The average rent rose 4.2 percent to $1,003 over that period.
Techet said Ridgewood’s concern was that by 2018 the market would have reached a saturation point.
The revised plans still call for replacing an office building at the east end of the property. Space in that building is now leased to a dental office, an insurance company and a hearing aid company.
The new plans call for the building to be demolished and replaced with a 2-story building that would include both office and retail space. The changes would add about 18,500 square feet of space.
Techet said work on that project won’t likely begin until 2018. Ridgewood still hopes to eventually reconfigure the area fronting Wade Avenue, but Techet said it is “highly unlikely” that such a project would include a residential component.
Next week Ridgewood will lose one of its long-time tenants, Quail Ridge Books, which is moving to North Hills.
Techet said two existing stores – the boutique Dress and Red & White Shop – will expand and take some of the space that Quail Ridge occupies. Ridgewood also expects to announce two new tenants, including a restaurant that will also lease a portion of the Quail Ridge space.