A major retail development planned for the area across Glenwood Avenue from Crabtree Valley Mall has a new lead developer.
Lennar Commercial has taken over the Carolina Row at Crabtree Valley project from Trademark Property, which first announced it in May. A spokesman for Trademark confirmed this week that the company is no longer involved in the project.
Plans for Carolina Row call for as much as 150,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, as well as up to 175 apartments that are to be located above the shops. The rezoning of the property was approved on the condition that developers build a pedestrian bridge over Glenwood Avenue connecting Carolina Row to the mall.
Carolina Row is likely to compete for some tenants with Glenwood Place, the project that Grubb Ventures announced last week. The 10-acre site where Carolina Row is to be built is just a mile north on Glenwood Avenue from where Grubb wants to build Glenwood Place.
Preliminary plans for Glenwood Place call for 140,000 square feet of retail, plus apartments, offices and a hotel. Grubb and its partner, Charlotte-based Lincoln Harris, are targeting high-end retailers, many of which may not currently have a presence in the Triangle.
When it announced Carolina Row in May, Trademark said it would also target luxury retailers that sell higher priced goods than you’d typically find in a mall such as Crabtree. It’s unclear whether Lennar will continue that strategy.
A Lennar executive on Wednesday declined to comment on Carolina Row. The company’s website says the grand opening for the project is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2016.
In an interview last week, David Connor, a senior vice president with Lincoln Harris, said he believes both projects can succeed.
“I think there is room in the marketplace for both,” he said.
While traffic is likely to be the biggest factor in whether Glenwood Place gets approved by city officials, it may also be the deciding factor in which project has more success landing name-brand retailers.
The ability for shoppers to get in and out of each development in a timely manner is likely to be a chief concern of retailers, given the traffic problems that already exist in the Crabtree Valley area.
Once the pedestrian bridge is in place, Carolina Row will have the benefit of being able to allow shoppers to visit both its stores and the mall across the street. Carolina Row is one piece of a 30-acre master plan project that also includes the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley property and land where the Richmond Hills apartments now sit. The owners of all three sites plan to work on the parking and road infrastructure within the project.
Glenwood Place, meanwhile, would allow shoppers approaching the development from the south side or coming from the Beltline to avoid the worst-performing intersections around the mall.