The developer behind East Village subdivision near downtown Clayton is now planning a 7,000-square-foot office building on East Front Street.
A white house currently stands on the land at the corner of East Front Street and Old N.C. 42. That’s where East Village Investments, a corporation registered to developers Thomas Taft and Hubie Tolson, wants to put an office building.
During a Clayton Planning Board meeting last week, Thomas Taft Jr. said the house will soon be removed.
“We are trying to set the character of that strip of commercial development between the post office and N.C. 42,” Taft said.
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“We have a vested interest in establishing a nice retail corridor,” he added.
Taft was referring to the new East Front Street extension, which opened this year and connects downtown to N.C. 42 East. East Village Investments owns much of the land that fronts the street extension, and real-estate companies are marketing the properties for commercial use.
But some of the land will be used for new homes. About 52 acres along the extension are reserved for the 152-lot East Village subdivision, which will go up next to a new apartment complex.
At the planning board meeting, developers and town staff said the office building will be home to multiple tenants. No tenants have signed leases yet, they said.
The planning board recommended that the Clayton Town Council rezone the land for the building from residential use to office-institutional use. The board also approved the site plan.
Planning board members Marty Bizzell and James Lipscomb recused themselves from the vote because of potential conflicts of interest.
Bizzell, an engineer with Raleigh-based Bass Nixon and Kennedy Inc., applied for the rezoning and site plan approval on behalf of East Village Investments. Lipscomb is the co-founder of HomeTowne Realty, which has a real-estate sign on the site.
Town planner Emily Beddingfield said the one-story building will have a parking lot with 28 spaces. The developers will also extend an existing 10-foot-wide multipurpose trail that runs alongside East Front Street, she said.
In other business, the planning board:
• Recommended the approval of a preliminary plat for 32 single-family homes in LionsGate subdivision off of Amelia Church Road. The town council will make the final decision.
• Decided not to back a request to subdivide a 1.4-acre lot in Oxford Hills subdivision.