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Special Projects Director Danna Widmar, with support from an interdepartmental staff team, successfully negotiated and executed an agreement to purchase and re-locate the historic Nancy Jones House. The house, located at 9391 Chapel Hill Road, is the oldest known house in Cary and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The house was built in 1803 for Henry and Nancy Jones on what was then a 2,000-acre estate. In addition to residing there, Henry and Nancy operated a stagecoach stop and tavern out of the house. When Henry died in 1841, Nancy continued to live in the house and operate the stagecoach stop for another 30+ years. During the antebellum period, it was considered the only fit place for important travelers, including many politicians, to stop.
The agreement between Cary and the Sri Venkateswara Temple, owners of the property, allows the Town up to a year after closing on the house to move it to another location. The Temple’s long-range plan is to develop the property.
On May 8, Mayor Weinbrecht and Council Members Bush, Yerha, George and Smith gathered at Town Hall with staff, representatives from the Sri Venkateswara Temple, Historic Preservation Commission members, and the Friends of the Page-Walker Board of Directors to celebrate the purchase agreement. Mayor Weinbrecht also delivered a proclamation declaring May as National Historic Preservation Month.
On the evening of June 6, Council Members Bush, Robinson, Yerha, George, and Frantz, along with a group of staff, were guests of the Sri Venkateswara Temple during the Temple’s annual week-long festival honoring the deity Sri Venkateswara. During a break in the festivities, Temple Board of Trustees Vice-Chair Ravi Kandukuri and Mayor Pro Tem Lori Bush took turns addressing the crowd, each expressing appreciation for the strong relationship between Cary and the Temple and the successful collaboration in preserving Cary’s oldest historic building.
In Q4, sixteen new non-residential permits were issued, totaling 372,708 square feet. This square footage represents a 33 percent increase from the Q4 five-year average of 279,332 square feet. The three largest new non-residential permits issued were:
- Wake Medical Office Park of Cary, 210 Ashville Avenue – a 5-story medical office building shell (133,890 square feet) and 470-space parking deck (143,111 square feet), totaling 277,001 square feet
- RDU Galleria, 1550 Aviation Parkway – a 41,154 square foot 3-story mixed-use building with offices, a restaurant, convenience store, and fueling station
- Wellesley Professional Building, 150 Wellesley Trade Lane – a 28,222 square foot 2-story multi-tenant office shell
Non-residential addition and alteration permits in Q4 totaled 140, consistent with the Q4 five-year average of 136. The three largest projects were:
- Courtyard by Marriott – 102 Edinburgh South Drive, hotel renovation totaling 86,524 square feet
- SAS Building E – 203 SAS Campus Drive, second floor office renovations totaling 41,600 square feet
- Epic Games – 5501 & 5520 Dillard Drive, 2nd floor office renovations and change of tenant totaling 36,312 square feet
During Q4, there were 23 cases in the rezoning process; six of these cases were approved. Two cases were initiated by the Town, one for a map correction on Globe Road, and the other to rezone property around the downtown park site to HMXD. The Veterinary Specialty Hospital on Tryon Road and Red Storm Entertainment on Weston Parkway were both rezoning requests from existing Cary businesses seeking to expand. Cary Pointe PDD had a mix of up to 120 age-restricted multi-family units and 25,000 square feet of retail. The Carpenter Upchurch rezoning was for townhomes with up to eight dwelling units per acre.
Twenty development plans were approved in Q4, totaling just over 389,000 square feet of non-residential use. In addition to the non-residential use, development plans allow for 240 multi-family units; 19 single family lots were also approved. Medical Office accounted for almost half of the non-residential buildings. The 133,750 square foot Wake Medical Office Park and the 91,000 square foot building at Health Park were the two largest plans that were approved. One multifamily development, Cary Solis, accounted for all the multi-family units. Overall in FY 2019, the number of approved development plans was down 18 percent from FY 2018.
The development team for Fenton purchased the site from the State of North Carolina on April 2, 2019 and subsequently received Town approval of a Clearing and Grading Plan for the main portion of the site. A phased approach is being utilized, and the interior of the site will be cleared and graded first.
Tree protection fencing should be installed in July, and the installation of erosion control devices on the site will follow shortly thereafter. The approved zoning and preliminary development plan preserves approximately 25 percent of the Fenton site in buffers and open space.
Town staff and the developer’s consultant team have also been discussing development plan review for the first phase of the project. The developer anticipates a grand opening of the first stores at the end of 2021.
The new downtown library parking deck is under construction and as of June 30th is 80 percent complete. The 600-space parking deck will include a variety of smart and connected community technology including intelligent lighting, physical/video security, electric vehicle charging solutions and an automated parking guidance system.
Intelligent lighting will automatically brighten and dim specific areas within the deck based on a patron’s physical location, providing strategic lighting to maintain safety and security while reducing energy costs. The existing security system will be expanded with the installation of security card readers, video security cameras and blue phone call boxes. The electric vehicle charging stations will allow for remote maintenance and diagnosis, display usage statistics, and have the ability to be turned on and off with a cell phone. Finally, an automated parking guidance system will provide visitors with light indicators showing availability and digital signage showing total available spaces per floor.