Fayetteville City Council likes idea of upscale retail

Tue, 02/26/2008 - 4:40pm
By: Ben Nelms

Fayetteville City Council said the idea to bring upscale retail to The Villages on Ga. Highway 54 West was a good one. A bit of recommended tweaking to the proposed concept plan presented Feb. 21 by East Point-based Heritage Creek Development might result in live/work opportunities and more greenspace.

The council heard initial concept plans Feb. 21 by Heritage Creek owner Wayne Kendall to construct nearly 89,000 square feet of commercial space on 13.7 acres situated along Hwy. 54 between Meeting Place Drive and Lafayette Avenue.

Situated just west of Tiger Trail, Meeting Place Drive serves as the entrance to Hampton Inn, while Lafayette Avenue immediately to the west is the Hwy. 54 entrance to The Villages residential development.

Kendall said the original agreement, adopted for the area in 2000, included the construction of 13 one- or two-story buildings with a total of 100,400 square feet.

His plan would reduce the number of buildings to six, including a single two-story anchor, for a total of approximately 89,000 square feet. A 1.26-acre outparcel along Hwy. 54 was also included in the concept plan.

In all, Kendall said his plans for the site included upscale, specialty retail and higher-end restaurants.

The council said a 45,000 square-foot proposed anchor might fit instead of the 33,000 square-foot structure conceived in the original 2000 plan.

They acknowledged, in concert with the developer, that a grocer to serve as an anchor was no longer likely, due to the presence of other grocery stores in close proximity to the site.

Kendall said all the speciality grocers contacted, such as Trader Joe’s, Fresh Market and Whole Foods, declined to enter the Fayetteville market.

Kendall said a fitness center or some type of retail other than a grocery store might serve as the anchor.

Mayor Ken Steele said that while the exact square footage of the anchor could be worked out, he emphasized that the council would be opposed to locating a big box retailer at the site.

Steele mirrored the comments of others on the council, suggesting that emerging plans for the development include how the tract will develop as part of the overall 110-acre area. The council recommended that the developer consider a live/work component to the project and, generally, the inclusion of more greenspace and less parking.

Kendall said Heritage Creek could re-evaluate the concept to look at including a live/work component over some of the buildings, adding that some may need to be three-story in order to have a sufficient number of apartments and buildings to make the plan work.

The council also agreed to consider an alteration to the square turnaround area immediately west of Hampton Inn, with the possibility of rounding it off to cut down on what Kendall called a traffic stacking problem.

Heritage Creek will continue to work with city staff to bring the proposal forward.

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