As Wake County goes, and as Raleigh goes, so Knightdale goes. That’s a mantra mentioned at multiple town gatherings in the past few months, and the increasing population is strengthening the pressure and speed of substantial projects in the town.
Despite the frigid temperatures, frozen ground and a dusting of snow, the upcoming Knightdale Station Park housing complex and YMCA branch are chugging along to substantially boost the railroad town’s attractiveness to Triangle transplants.
Three builders – McKee Homes, LLC, H&H Homes and Caviness & Cates lined up to begin shaping the multi-use housing complex with homes potentially available for move-in by late spring or early summer.
The building companies already have obtained permits for eight single-family homes.
“They’ll have some more, between 10-20 single-family homes within the next month or so,” said Knightdale Planning Director Chris Hills.
The 275-acre subdivision by Preston Development partners is a long-term project with many small phases, Hills said. Most of the 835 homes will be single-family residential, but there will also be 195 units of attached residential units, such as apartment buildings.
Progress on the projects is dependent on the weather and housing market, among other factors.
Part of the 100,000 square feet of non-residential building space has already been claimed by the Knightdale YMCA and the Knightdale Thales Academy Elementary School, and the school will be breaking ground “very soon,” Hills said.
Last week, icy winds and temperatures below freezing didn’t keep Baker Mechanical of Wilson away from installing plumbing at a new branch for the YMCA of the Triangle site behind the park.
Workers watched icicles grow while working on the bathrooms that will accompany the YMCA. Two inground, outdoor pools are also under construction, including a kiddie pool for toddlers and small children.
The fitness center is pursuing a “very aggressive schedule,” Hills said, with a goal of being membership-ready by Memorial Day weekend.
During their recent retreat, town council members discussed a vision to extend the old downtown along First Avenue, adding mixed-use buildings that would allow for shops, restaurants and second-floor apartments to draw people to the park during morning and evening.
So far, a deli, a dance studio and a brewery are among businesses that have inquired about locations in the Old Town District, according to town staff.
The vision included a “strong street presence” along Wilder Nursery Trail and about 100 parking spaces, along with modern amenities and possibly public high-speed Wi-Fi.
Hills mentioned that the town also has a developer interested in building a mixed-use facility along Knightdale Station Run, the road leading toward the YMCA.
“We’re really starting to see a lot of momentum,” he said. “A mixed-use area...is something we don’t have. At the end of the day, that’s what Knightdale is trying to accomplish, a place for people to be.”