The next big projects in the Ephesus-Fordham zoning district could be coming this fall and early next year, staff told the Town Council this week.
The information about the former Crown Honda Volvo site near Ram’s Plaza and South Village Plaza, east of Whole Foods, came in response to a question from Council member Nancy Oates. A separate Play It Again Sports project is possible on the other side of Fordham Boulevard.
Oates noted that South Village Plaza and other properties have new owners who might pursue redevelopment plans before the council can make more changes to the district’s form-based code. The code guides how buildings should look in relation to each other and the surrounding streets.
Developers need to be kept abreast of changes pending as they plan their projects, Oates said.
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Leon Capital Group shared a preliminary apartments concept for the Crown Honda Volvo site at the town’s Community Design Commission this summer. The developer could submit an application in the fall.
Ram Realty Partners bought the South Village Plaza property where O2 Fitness and other businesses are in July; the company also owns 140 West downtown. An application is possible early next year that would include a new retail building, parking lot and storefront improvements.
The Orange County ABC Board confirmed Wednesday that the ABC store at South Village Plaza is moving to nearby Ram’s Plaza.
Other highlights include:
There are 10 approved construction and renovation projects in the Ephesus-Fordham district:
-Alexan Chapel Hill: 265 apartments and 15,600 square feet of retail space in a 90-foot building with a parking deck on South Elliott Road; opening this fall
-CVS at Ram’s Plaza: A 13,013-square-foot store is now open
-Ram’s Plaza outparcel: 2,700-square-foot commercial building under construction
-Eastgate Building D: 7,633-square-foot commercial building under construction at site of former Eastgate BP service station
-Greenfield Place/Greenfield Commons: DHIC Inc. is set to build 69 affordable family apartments off Legion Road and has 80 affordable senior apartments in the planning stage; the projects could meet half of the district’s affordable housing goal
-Five renovation projects at Eastgate Crossing, Ram’s Plaza and on Legion Road
-The town held recent meetings to talk about how to create more open space and make it easier for cars, pedestrians and cyclists to get around the district; the council could hold a public hearing Nov. 14 on the walkability and open-space standards and the mobility and connectivity plan
-Design guidelines are underway to define how building facades, streetscapes and other amenities look. Booker Creek greenway improvements are possible
-Roadwork could end by October at the Ephesus Church Road-Fordham Boulevard intersection and around Ram’s Plaza
-Planning is underway for a second round of road improvements, including an Elliott Road extention from Fordham Boulevard to Ephesus Church Road; a comprehensive transportation impact study is expected by next summer
The town is moving ahead with district road construction, using Town Hall as collateral for up to $8 million in debt to fund the work.
The N.C. Department of Transportation now expects to reimburse nearly $1.8 million of that cost, said John Richardson, the town’s planning manager for sustainability. The rest is being paid with future tax revenues from Ephesus-Fordham projects, the town’s debt management fund, and money from project partners, such as Ram’s Plaza owner Argus Development.
Property tax revenues from the first five projects – $344,542 annually for the town – could exceed the debt payments on Phase 1 projects by 2018-19, he said. That’s a few years earlier than expected, he noted.
Those projects also could generate $639,551 in annual property taxes for the county and $151,802 for the city schools, the report shows.
-A draft report on Lower Booker subwatershed needs and improvements is expected this month
-Consultants could bring an affordable housing study to the council’s Oct. 19 work session
-The council is planning another set of form-based code updates in the spring