Commuters on the north side of town can expect to see a new development rise over the next couple years, but it won’t be a place many people will frequent.
The land currently being cleared on the corner of North Arendell Avenue and Green Pace Road in Zebulon is the future site of a large BB&T facility.
Construction of a 150,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed on the nearly 50-acre property by the end of 2015, according to BB&T Vice President of Corporate Communication David White.
“It will employ between 20 and 30 associates which will be a combination of new and existing positions,” White said. He declined to specify what purpose the facility will serve.
Kelly King, BB&T’s CEO and a Zebulon-area native, was more forthcoming during a sit-down interview with The Wilson Times in early March. A story by The Times indicates the space will be used as a data center consisting mostly of computers that will serve as a backup to BB&T’s control center in Wilson in case of a natural disaster.
“It’s a data center so it will be a fairly large building with a lot of computers in it but with very, very few people,” King said, according to the Times.
The Winston-Salem-based bank purchased nearly all of the land in 2011 from Arendell North, a group linked to the Whichard Real Estate company of Raleigh which owns a number of shopping malls across the United States. The price tag was $4.8 million, according to Wake County property records.
The property includes nine parcels on the north side of U.S. 64/264 that combined form a triangular shape spanning the west side of Arendell Avenue.
Zebulon Planning Director Mark Hetrick said a permit application that has been submitted lists the estimated cost of the building at $89 million. At the current tax a building worth that kind of money would bring $467,250 in taxes for Zebulon.
Projects popping up
The new BB&T site isn’t the only place around Zebulon that’s seen construction activity.
Since January, the planning department has issued 20 single-family dwelling permits. The town issued a total of 55 total new house permits last year, and just 11 in 2012.
“Based on the information we’re getting from the builders, they’re continuing to pull permits and seeing a lot of folks on the weekends pulling through the developments,” Hetrick said. “It’s certainly a good sign for the town, as shown in the permit figures the last two years. Hopefully this is something that will continue in Zebulon and eastern Wake County.”
One certificate of occupancy has been issued and several others are pending for the Shepard’s Point subdivision behind the Zebulon Boys & Girls Club, which has 15 active permits. There is also ongoing progress in the Braemar, Taryn Meadows and Weaver’s Pond subdivisions.
Hetrick said a building permit has been pulled for a new location for the East Wake Animal Hospital off Green Pace Road. And interior renovation and sign permitting are under way for the space formerly occupied by Pizza Villa off West Gannon Avenue, which is set to become the home of a seafood and sandwich restaurant called The Red Snapper.