The housing-development market is alive and well in Clayton, with the Town Council taking action on one or two projects a month. The latest is something of a rebirth, with original plans done in by the recession.
Nine years have passed since the Town Council first approved a subdivision for the southern corner of Covered Bridge and Shotwell roads. Between then and the council’s second approval last week, the project grew by nearly 80 lots.
After the council’s first approval in 2006, the housing market tanked, and plans to put 104 lots on 87 acres never materialized. When developers came back recently, the project had nearly doubled, with 181 homes going on the same acreage.
Wynwood Manor won’t be built out until 2021, but more homes are likely on the way for the so-called Creech property, owned by Everland Lee LLC. Three more tracts of the 141-acre property remain undeveloped and could bring additional rooftops to Clayton, or possibly commercial projects.
At last week’s Town Council meeting, the project received its only opposition from residents of Cassedale subdivision, which is next door. Those residents voiced concerns that Wynwood’s smaller lots would drive down their property values and that the addition of 181 homes would overwhelm the area’s intersections.
“We understood [this development] would be similar to ours, but it’s a completely different subdivision,” Cassedale resident Megan Brown said.
If Wynwood Manor sticks out from its neighbors, it’s a consequence of timing. Developer Jerry Dalton, who is overseeing Wynwood Manor and also built Cassedale, said only an updated sewer system separated the latter from looking more like the former.
“Had the sewer been in place, we wouldn’t have had 30,000-square-foot lots,” Dalton said of Cassedale. “But we needed the soil for the septic system.”
Dalton hired Thad Avent of the Avent-Permenter Group to assess what, if any, impact Wynwood Manor would have on neighboring homes. He determined that if the homes were built to a price point of $250,000 to $500,000 and had 2,500 to more than 3,000 square feet, the homes could actually end up costing more per square foot than Cassedale homes. Avent put the price per square foot of recent Cassedale sales at $113 and projected Wynwood to be around $130.
The council’s greatest concern was the impact of the new homes on the Covered Bridge and Shotwell roads intersection, which town staff and council members described as failing. That intersection, they said, has been in need of a traffic signal since 2007, but no help from the N.C. Department of Transportation appears to be on the way.
Dalton said he didn’t think his project should have to foot the bill for a traffic signal but would if that’s what it took to move forward.
“If you require this burden to be placed on this development, we’ll make every effort to get it done,” Dalton said. “We’d like to get some help if we can get it, but it’s not going to be a show stopper.”
A traffic engineer, Don Morton, put the cost of a traffic light at that intersection at $50,000 to $75,000 for wooden poles and $100,000 to $125,000 for metal poles.
Eventually, Dalton said the development would pay for the signal if, at the build-out of the first 70 homes, no other development affecting that intersection had moved forward. He expects to complete the first 70 homes by next summer, with the next phase of 49 homes completed by January 2018 and the third phase of 62 homes built after that.
Drew Jackson: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104; @jdrewjackson
What it is: A proposed 181-lot subdivision on 87 acres at Covered Bridge and Shotwell roads.
Where it stands: The project has won Town Council approval; the developer plans three phases, with the first homes ready next year, the last in 2021.