Developer drops plans for controversial Raleigh shopping center
Posted May 11, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — A Charlotte developer has abandoned plans to build a supermarket-anchored shopping center in north Raleigh that nearby residents opposed.
Morgan Property Group had worked for two years to rezone a 12-acre site at the intersection of Falls of Neuse and Dunn roads to accommodate a 49,000-square-foot supermarket, several smaller shops and a bank.
Florida-based Publix, which opened its first Triangle-area store in Cary last fall, was widely rumored to be the anchor for the project.
Residents pushed back, however, gathering thousands of signatures on petitions opposed to the rezoning. They argued that the shopping center would bring too much traffic and adverse environmental impacts to their residential area.
Raleigh officials worked with Morgan Property to scale down the center to a 29,000-square-foot shopping center early this year, but the developer said Monday that all plans are now off the table and it is dropping its rezoning petition.
“We negotiated both a reduction of the overall square footage of the project and a reduction in the anchor space," Trey Morgan, president of Morgan Property, said in a statement. "Nevertheless, an increasingly bitter and hostile climate has made it impossible to properly engage the community at large and, in our view, for City Council to weigh the merits of the case. As we have said from the beginning of the process, we have never wanted to pit neighbor against neighbor. We believe it truly unfortunate that special interests have dominated the process from the beginning and that our project was slandered from the initial stages."
Morgan said the scaled-down plan would have produced less traffic than a development under the site's current zoning, so he said the neighborhood "will have to live with continued uncertainty about the future of these parcels."