Charlotte developer plots $150 million retail destination in Fuquay-Varina

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A Charlotte developer is moving ahead with plans for a $150 million retail development in Fuquay-Varina – a deal that’s eight years in the making.

On Monday, the Town of Fuquay-Varina entered into an agreement with an affiliate of Charlotte developer Core Properties, clearing the way for the development of Bellchase, a proposed open-air shopping center near the town’s commercial core.

The project is situated on around 100 acres at the intersection of Highway 401 and Ideal Lane. Plans call for 800,000 square feet of high-end retail and office space. The development is expected to generate around 1,300 jobs once complete.

“The Town of Fuquay-Varina is extremely excited about this project,” said Mayor John W. Byrne. “The residents of Fuquay-Varina deserve a premium project like Bellchase. The higher-end types of fine dining restaurants, retailers, and department stores will contribute greatly to the expansion of our tax base and provide a significant number of jobs for our community.”

As a part of the agreement, the town will reimburse the developer for infrastructure improvements up to $10 million.

“We are excited to be working with the Town of Fuquay-Varina on this project,” said Rich Barta of FV Retail, LLC, the Core Properties affiliate behind the project. “The amount of growth Fuquay-Varina has and continues to experience has been extraordinary. Our goal is to develop a transformational retail and integrated commercial project that serves as a destination for residents of the Triangle Region who will be able to enjoy quality dining and shopping experiences.”

The seeds for the project were planted eight years ago when town officials realized they needed to be proactive in cultivating commercial development that was sure to follow the rapid residential growth in the area.

Officials, including now-Assistant Town Manager Jim Seymour, reached out to different commercial investors and developers to build relationships and gain an idea for what would be possible in town.

“And in 2014 the board put together a very aggressive economic development strategy with six major initiatives,” Seymour said. “One was recruiting unmet retail to the area.”

Ultimately, they came to an agreement with Core Properties, then known for its development of the nearby White Oak Crossings shopping center in Garner.

“When the developer started doing the Garner properties, they always had Fuquay-Varina on their radar,” Seymour said.

The project will be built out in five phases, with the last of the work expected to be complete 10 years from now.

Seymour said there are no tenants finalized that he knows of yet.

He added that an additional benefit of the development is the infrastructure improvements, which the town agreed to reimburse, as officials continue to work to build up the area’s roads and transit capabilities. He said as the development moves forward and plans evolve, the town will have a better idea of how much of that $10 million it will need to spend.

“This transformational project is exactly what the Town had envisioned when the Town Board adopted its first comprehensive economic development strategy almost six years ago,” said Town Manager Adam Mitchell. “This project will not only provide much needed retail and commercial uses; a project of this magnitude can change the landscape of our community. This project’s investment in public infrastructure will also significantly contribute to the community’s transportation improvements.”

Original Article Source: Triangle Business Journal