Neighbors are unhappy about a developer’s plan to build 40 townhomes on Main Street, less than 2 miles from downtown Wake Forest.
In June, 11 Investment asked the town to rezone a 4.5-acre property at 1047 N. Main St. to allow for the project. The site is currently zoned for up to eight single-family homes.
Some residents say townhomes would bring more traffic and noise and decrease property values. But the developer says he is trying to build what Wake Forest leaders have been wanting – infill projects that redevelop vacant properties near the town’s thriving urban core.
The site is now home to a few abandoned buildings and has collected trash piles.
“We feel like this would take a home that is dilapidated and could have unsafe activity, to putting a product on the ground that would be in line with what the town has been requesting for many years,” said David Williams Jr., a developer for 11 Investment.
Along with the 40 townhomes that would cost about $200,000 each, a preliminary master plan calls for 75 parking spaces and a stormwater pond.
The Battle-Purnell House, a Wake Forest landmark built in 1802, sits next to the property. Owners Julie Ellis and Daniel Safriet say they don’t want so many homes next to their 9-acre property that houses a small equestrian center with riding lessons.
“We don’t want this land rezoned,” Ellis said. “We want someone to do this right and build five to six really nice homes there. Let’s bring this area up, let’s beautify it.”
Last week, Williams met with residents of the nearby Meadows, Olde Mill Stream and Edgeford Park subdivisions, which feature single-family homes. Some people asked where children would play and where students would catch the school bus.
Ellis said at least three homeowners have put their houses on the market because of the potential townhome project.
The Glen Royall Mill Apartments are less than a mile down Main Street, and a small townhome complex is on Harris Road.
“It’s basically going to be like a sardine can,” Ellis said. “You’re going to have probably over 100 people living in 4.5 acres.”
The Wake Forest Board of Commissioners will have the final say on whether the project can move forward. The board could discuss the case in September.
Camila Molina: 919-829-4538