A developer who plans to build a Walmart neighborhood grocery store in northeast Raleigh wants to promise residents the store will include a pharmacy.
An attorney for South Carolina-based shopping center developer WRS Inc. asked the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday for time to add a condition to a rezoning request that would require a pharmacy as part of the project.
The proposal will go to city council again in August for a vote.
Developers typically don’t make official agreements or add conditions that guarantee any type of business on a development site. But a pharmacy is an “essential” part of the rezoning, Lacy Reaves, an attorney for WRS, said during the public hearing Tuesday. He was the only person who spoke about the project.
In 2013, hundreds of residents who live near the 16-acre site on the corner of New Hope and Buffaloe roads spoke out against a proposed 24-hour Sheetz gas station that was planned for across the street. The city council ultimately voted down the request.
The new plan, which features a Walmart Neighborhood Market, hasn’t faced nearly as much opposition from neighbors.
Residents who live nearby didn’t push for a pharmacy or any other changes to the plan, said Michi Vojta, who opposed the Sheetz store.
“I don’t think it was important to the community that the pharmacy be part of this development,” Vojta wrote in an email to council members.
WRS, which was not involved with the Sheetz plan, addressed residents’ concerns and opted to add some conditions to the Walmart project.
Plans include a larger-than-required buffer and a limit on store hours. Also, fuel pumps would not be allowed.
Conditions were presented to the northeast citizens advisory council in April. The group OK’d the project with a 40-12 vote.
The special conditions were key for nearby residents, Vojta said. But it doesn’t mean neighbors are clamoring for a new Walmart store.
“I must add that the community doesn’t necessary support this development, but ‘can live with it,’” she wrote to council members.
Residents say they also want the developer to improve connectivity by adding crosswalks at the intersection of New Hope and Buffaloe roads.