A Raleigh developer is one step closer to building a 660-lot subdivision mixed with single- and multi-family homes on the U.S. 401 corridor.
The developer, Jim Anthony, CEO of Colliers International Raleigh, is also proposing 35,000 square feet of office and retail space, residential apartments and more than 120 acres of open space, giving the neighborhood a unique appeal not seen in other subdivisions.
The Planning Commission unanimously voted Tuesday night to approve the rezoning of 269.8 acres of land off 6855 Fayetteville Road and just north of Eagle Ridge Subdivision and the subdivision’s master plan.
The area of land was rezoned to Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND). Traditional Neighborhood Development is new to Garner. The idea is to create compact neighborhoods with different types of housing, encouraging pedestrian circulation and having open space and mixed use opportunities, said planning director Brad Bass.
“It creates a social networking opportunity since some people like those kinds of things, particularly the millennials now, who are making up a larger population, often like to live in neighborhoods like that,” Bass said. “So I think it just offers another option that is somewhat unique in terms of housing opportunity.”
The project would be similar to Renaissance Park in Raleigh off Tryon Road and Ileganes Road.
The master plan includes private greenway trails and public greenways.
The project site is located near Swift Creek on U.S. 401, west of Old Stage Road and north of Eagle Ridge subdivision. The site’s main entrance would be on U.S. 401.
The subdivision will also have a mix of different lot sizes, between 32- and 60-foot wide lots. About 450 of the lots would be single-family homes and about 200 would be multi-family homes. The price point of the homes are expected to be $250,000-$400,000. The townhomes will be about $200,000.
Road improvements will be required when the site is built, adding a lane on both sides of the 401.
“I think our distinction is ease of access to downtown Raleigh, major transportation and all the greenway space we’re going to have around this thing,” said Jim. “It’s literally going to be a huge park all surrounding this property. And very few subdivisions have permanent parkland around them. This will.”
He described it as living in nature.
“We have the blessing of this vast amount of green space that basically surrounds the whole project. Our goal is to really maximize the value of that as an asset to the community,” Anthony said. “Not just to our neighborhood but to the larger community.”
The plan has been more than a decade in the making.
A portion of the property was previously approved in 2002 as a planned residential development called Parkland Subdivision. That project contained 227 acres and 454 dwelling units consisting of mix of single family, patio homes and townhouses. Some infrastructure (streets, water and sewer) was installed for the first phase of development.
However, the project never moved forward and subsequently it went into foreclosure.
Anthony, who already had an investment in the project, decided to take it over.
There were some concerns expressed before the vote.
Access is an issue
Donnie Lindsey, one of the battalion chiefs for the Garner Fire Department, said the project might be great for the town of Garner, but it’s a nightmare for the Garner Fire Department.
“Our closest fire station that would serve this community would be at Timber Drive and Vandora (Springs Road),” Lindsey said. “If that truck is the first to respond, it’s going to take that truck roughly eight minutes to respond or a little longer based on the traffic. And that’s an engine truck. Not a ladder. Our goal in Garner is a four-minute response time.”
He said the fire department’s current average response time is four minutes, 38 seconds. He also questioned the number of access points to the neighborhood.
“Our second issue is the access road,” Lindsey said. “This property has a railroad track running through the middle of it. He said if there is an accident at that rail line, then there is 400 houses cut off that the fire department can’t get to.”
Commission members shared in the concern with the fire department’s access to the site.
Jayne McBurney said she was also concerned with a greenway getting started and not being finished.
“My concern is this is high density and what if we don’t have enough draw to market this,” McBurney said. “My concern is that something gets started and doesn’t get completed and becomes an eyesore for the town.”
With the planning commission’s vote, the master plan and rezoning case will next go before the town council at their Oct. 5 council meeting.