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Wegmans supermarket to anchor Cary's version of North Hills

Posted April 24
Updated April 25

— A South Carolina-based developer on Monday submitted plans to Cary officials to transform 92 acres near Cary Towne Center to a North Hills-style mix of shops, apartments, hotels and offices.

The project, currently dubbed East Cary Gateway, would fill one of the last undeveloped sites in Cary, at the intersection of Trinity Road and Cary Towne Boulevard, between WakeMed Soccer Park and Cary Towne Center, which is undergoing its own redevelopment.

"This area has traditionally been more suburban in nature, and what we’ll provide is a more urban environment," said Abbitt Goodwin, a partner in Columbia Development.

Mayor Harold Weinbrecht and other Cary officials said they don't want the project to become a collection of big-box stores and parking decks.

"We will be carefully considering this rezoning request to make sure that what is a proposed will inspire and support high-end office and retail," Town Councilwoman Jennifer Robinson said.

Columbia Development took those concerns to heart during the planning process, Goodwin said.

"We went around the country and looked at the top 20 mixed-use destinations," he said, noting North Hills was on that list. "We picked elements from each one that we liked and tried to incorporate them into this project."

Renderings show a village-type development with two main streets and office space and apartments atop ground-floor retail in numerous buildings. The project would include two eight-story office buildings and two hotels and would be anchored by a Wegmans supermarket. The New York-based chain, which has consistently ranked among the top nationwide for customer satisfaction, also has plans for stores in Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

"The highway’s pretty easy to get to and from, so hopefully the traffic wouldn’t get too bad," Cary resident Jennifer Craig said of nearby Interstate 40.

Cary resident Tamara Jones said she wants a fresh influx of development.

"I’ve been here since '78, and I don’t want to see, it was Cary Village Mall then Cary Towne Center, and I don’t want to see it go away," Jones said.

Town planners said they expect the approval process, which includes reviews by Cary staff and public input before the Town Council makes a final decision, to last about 10 months.

4 Comments

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  • Jennifer Krause Apr 28, 2:42 p.m.
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    The charm that still reposes in Cary is that it is NOT North Hills. Has there been much public input and reaction on this endeavor? It seems as though in would put the neighborhoods off Walnut Street under siege from two directions. And the drawing I saw was very boxy and bland looking - not at all destination architecture. What is wrong with leaving a few areas of trees intact ? Psychologically the view of forests have been proven to relieve stress in the human mind, not to mention the benefit trees provide to the atmosphere itself.

  • Tim Orr Apr 25, 7:13 p.m.
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    Cary used to be a nice, friendly, small town...

  • Kelly Paris Apr 25, 5:10 p.m.
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    the whole area is becoming over developed as it is.

  • Andrew Stephenson Apr 25, 11:30 a.m.
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    Yay for Wegmans, Boo for another North Hills. We are still a car-heavy city, and finding parking at North Hills is terrible, especially on the Harris Teeter side. Either you have to pay like you're at some downtown area, or there's very limited parking. I used to love going to Chuy's over there, but I won't even try it anymore since they removed the big surface lot to build another tower.