Local News

Wake Forest Considers Regional Shopping Center

Posted December 21, 2007

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Wake Forest town leaders hope that a new shopping center could become a regional hub, but some homeowners object to the large development going up behind their backyards.

Developers plan to build the town's biggest shopping center on the 68-acre site of a former automotive parts supplier. Behind the proposed site lies St. Ives, a subdivision homeowners say is a genuine community.

"It's real quiet. It's a small neighborhood," resident Maury Taylor said. "Everyone knows everyone else. We're real tight."

The neighborhood, however, is divided on the possibility of a regional shopping hub moving in near them. Taylor said residents' concerns center on the potential impact of such a large development.

"I think the thought of the unknown is the greatest concern for homeowners," Taylor said.

The project would locate one large department store – such as JC Penny's or Belk's – to anchor other smaller stores on Wake Union Church Road, near the intersection of Capital Boulevard and N.C. Highway 98. Parker Hannifin closed its manufacturing plant on the site five years ago.

Preliminary plans show that Wake Union Place would come very close to St. Ives.

"Fifty feet, yeah. ... There's a 50-foot buffer between the neighborhood lot line and the development," Taylor said.

Many residents expressed worries that shoppers drawn from throughout the region would follow Capital Boulevard into their neighborhood. Others said they fear the increased traffic and noise would drive down property values.

"(For) a lot of us, our homes are our biggest investments," resident Anna Faatiliga said. "And especially in today's economy, the housing market, anything that could adversely affect that is concerning."

Other homeowners said having a shopping center behind their houses beats a rundown industrial site.

"My personal opinion is that it will increase the property values, because it's an upgrade from where we are," Taylor said.

Town planners will submit the project proposal in January, and town commissioners are expected to vote on it during the spring.

32 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • flashlight Dec 21, 2007

    It's not the developer's or architect's fault necessarily. As long as people keep visiting ugly strip malls, the more we're going to see them. Also, since they have been commonplace for decades, we've gotten used to not having to ever walk anywhere. Big box development is changing with some interest in getting back to a more "Main Street" look and function. Cary Towne Center has changed it's facade at least to create the image of separate shops linked together as opposed to a giant beige box. Triangle Town Center and Southpoint both have their own open-air shopping area...though walking to them is still inconvenient.

  • CapeFearRiver10 Dec 21, 2007

    I wonder when strip malls will get played out, I mean dang they all look alike. How about building a dense village(community) with retail on the street level is that so freakin hard to build in Raleigh metro. It also saves land & water, I swear American Architects have no talent. Heck I can draw a large parking lot with 1,000,000 sq ft 2 story block. I bet in 2030 Raleigh will look like another Houston, Atlanta, or Los Angeles (parking lot, with an ugly spacious skyline, & traffic dark hole)

  • iamforjustice Dec 21, 2007

    Good idea, it would make it easier for the criminals in the slums of Raleigh to travel Wake Forest and commit crimes.
    TarheelsDontLikeEdwards

    OK so the only way for criminals can enter Wake Forest is by bus? They can't drive? Ok I refuse to argue. I live in Raleigh and I am no criminal. I was making the statement because I like going to Wake Forest but I hate driving. I wouldn't mind taking the bus sometimes to shop and just save gas. What is the problem?

  • Space Mountain Dec 21, 2007

    "Building all of these businesses in Wake Forest will alleviate traffic congestion on Capital Blvd between Raleigh and Wake Forest because people won't have to go to Raleigh as often."

    This is a good point. I think with a mall, Wake Forest really has all it needs. It already has the Wal-Mart, Target, grocery stores and restaurants. Now if they can just get other businesses to come in and set up offices, people wouldn't have any need to go to Raleigh or Durham for anything. They could work right in Wake Forest.

  • brassy Dec 21, 2007

    Gee, didn't realize Wake Forest had a shopping shortage. It's not like you can drive down US 1 a few miles and hit a zillion strip malls :).

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Dec 21, 2007

    "Why doesn't the bus go to Wake Forest? Well I guess a mall would do Wake Forest good...it would give SuperTarget some competition. Need one more liquor store also. hiccups"

    Good idea, it would make it easier for the criminals in the slums of Raleigh to travel Wake Forest and commit crimes.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Dec 21, 2007

    Raleigh should use the reservoir east of Wake Forest as a water source.

    Building all of these businesses in Wake Forest will alleviate traffic congestion on Capital Blvd between Raleigh and Wake Forest because people won't have to go to Raleigh as often.

    The people in Wake Forest who oppose development sound like the typical NIMBY that opposes any changes and wants things to stay exactly as they are. With the growth in Wake Forest, the NIMBY's are attempting to stop the inevitable.

  • iamforjustice Dec 21, 2007

    Why doesn't the bus go to Wake Forest? Well I guess a mall would do Wake Forest good...it would give SuperTarget some competition. Need one more liquor store also. hiccups

  • BIGCHEESECAMATO Dec 21, 2007

    That is all we need are more places to shop. I just cannot wait til we get more in Wake Forrest. We need a Belk, Macy's, and maybe a Marriott Hotel as well. I cannot wait for a big toys are us to come soon too......This is great.. All the traffic and stuff will be wonderful up here. We need more restaurants as well. It would great to add an Ihop, and stuff..

  • nascar33 Dec 21, 2007

    Great more expansion in Wake County. So where are they getting the water and what are they going to do about the additional traffic? Wake Forest is already a nightmare to drive around, this will make it that much worse and no road improvements considered.

More...