White Oak development right on track

kjahner@newsobserver.comMarch 25, 2014 

— The massive investment at White Oak and Jones Sausage churns along ahead of schedule, while the road project to facilitate the development is a half-step behind.

Garner’s town council approved conditional use permits for the land north of U.S. 70 near Jones Sausage Road that Core Properties has been developing. Richard Barta, president and owner of Core, said the development company had made substantial progress in preparing the northeast section of the land for its anchor tenant, Cabela’s.

“We are on track for June 1 delivery to Cabela’s. We should be on time. Actually, we’re a little bit ahead of schedule,” Barta said.

Remarks on the topic at the meeting were brief, in part because the issue wasn’t broached until about 11 p.m. Four of the previous five hours of the meeting had been taken up by discussion about the planned South Garner High School.

The planning commission recommended approval, and the council had no objection.

“I must say, that’s the finest looking dumpster enclosure I’ve seen in some time,” Councilman Gra Singleton said after seeing a design meant to visually compensate for the fact that plans don’t adhere to the town’s minimum set-back requirements.

Approved plans on the northeast quadrant of the U.S. 70 and White Oak/Jones Sausage roads include one-story buildings of 8,100 and 9,200 square feet respectively. They will have a primarily red brick facade, with accents of a lighter rose-colored brick.

Those buildings, likely to include as-yet unspecified national chain restaurants as tenants, will join an already-approved 7-story Drury Inn hotel and Cabela’s outdoors superstore.

Along with the northeast quadrant permit, the town also approved a conditional use permit subdivision plan for the northwest quadrant (on the other side of Jones Sausage). Barta said that will allow the process on that side to begin even as building continues on the northeast side.

The land will be broken into eight lots and each parcel will have its own site development plan. Design guidelines are still being developed and will be presented with site plan approval.

Road project

A road project needed to facilitate the planned expansion of White Oak Crossing continues, though not at the same pace as the grading and preparations of the northeast quadrant.

The road work will improve the I-40 interchange with U.S. 70 and rebuild the intersection at U.S. 70 and White Oak/Jones Sausage.

Planning director Brad Bass said icy weather has slowed work, but not in a way that should spell trouble as the project looks to wrap up paving before the 2014 Department of Transportation Dec. 15 deadline for shutting down paving operations, which can’t be completed in cold weather.

“My understanding is that we might be slightly behind, and that's primarily due to the weather,” Bass said. “Engineering people tell me that it is time that can be made up. It's not anything critical at this point.”

Jahner: 919-829-4822; Twitter: @garnercleveland

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