Raleigh, N.C. — The City Council gave unanimous approval Tuesday to a master plan for expanding the Brier Creek development in northwest Raleigh.
American Asset Corp., which owns Brier Creek, wants to rezone 38.5 acres west of Arco Corporate Drive to accommodate a 1.63 million-square-foot mixed-use development.
"Brier Creek continues to grow. We'll have a place where, eventually, someone could live and literally walk across the bridge and enjoy the restaurants, the theater and the other retailers here," said Joe Dye, executive vice president of American Asset who oversees the Charlotte-based developer's Raleigh projects.
Developers plan to add office buildings, up to 600 residential units, 300 hotel rooms and up to 115,000 square feet of retail space to the area tucked between Interstate 540 and Brier Creek Parkway. There would be two parking decks, as well as off-street parking, in the project.
"I think it will bring a lot more business this way. I mean, this area is growing a lot," said Rachel Parisi, who was shopping at Brier Creek Commons on Tuesday.
Some people said Brier Creek is already too crowded, and they fear even more congestion.
"Traffic is already a little heavy on this side of town. I would imagine doing this would only make it worse," shopper James Lyle said.
"I'm a little concerned about that (expansion plan) because it gets pretty crowded in here on the weekends and especially around the holidays," shopper John Rosenquist said.
Developers said extra roads have already been built to help ease congestion, and an additional lane could be added to the I-540 exit ramp, if needed. They also said that having more residences nearby would mean more people could go out to eat and shop at the development without having to drive there.
Others said they were skeptical about the environmental impact of a larger development, saying they would prefer the natural beauty of the wooded area along the banks of Brier Creek to remain.
"The (Research Triangle Park) has been growing so much and expanding that just a lot of the natural scenery and open spaces are just disappearing," shopper Courtney Harrington said.
No timetable has been set for the project.