The Council of State on Tuesday approved the sale of 95 acres of state land off Cary Towne Center Boulevard to a South Carolina development company for $21.15 million.
What the company plans to do with the land is still unclear.
The nine elected state officials and the governor who make up the Council of State approved the Cary land sale along with other sales during a routine meeting Tuesday morning without discussion.
The state received four offers for the surplus property, which is a vacant portion of a 259-acre tract between Cary Towne Boulevard and East Chatham Street just off Interstate 40.
Columbia Development Group LLC was chosen because of its price and terms, said Department of Administration spokesman Chris Mears. He did not elaborate on the terms.
Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht talked with representatives from the development group Tuesday morning after the sale approval and said the conversation was very preliminary. The group doesn’t have specific plans yet, he said.
“They are just trying to get an understanding of what we are looking for,” Weinbrecht said. “They are retail developers, and they want to partner with office developers. I’m guessing most of what they propose will be retail with some office. They are not talking about residential, but there could be residential. We are not sure. They were speaking very high level.”
Columbia Development is also building a new Costco in Nichols Plaza off Laura Duncan Road and U.S. 64 in Apex.
Weinbrecht said Columbia Development’s new tract of land is at a gateway point to Cary and close to downtown. Therefore, he stressed that the developer would need to propose something attractive to the town.
“It would have a huge impact on our downtown area,” he said. “We don’t just want development, we want something very high quality.”
He seemed confident the company would propose an attractive plan to the council.
Columbia Development Group partner Jenkins Williamson issued a statement late Tuesday saying they are excited about the chance to work on the eastern gateway to the town.
“This is one of very few large tracts remaining on the I-40 corridor in the Triangle, and we believe it has tremendous potential,” Williamson said. “Currently we are meeting with public officials at the Town of Cary to make sure we understand their vision for the property so that the plan we ultimately submit will be well received.”