publix plan

A Publix grocery store will anchor this development under construction at the intersection of N.C. 73 and Pilot Knob Road.

DENVER — Publix is slated to open its first location in Denver by early 2018. The popular grocery chain will be located in Cambridge Village, a development being built near the intersection of N.C. 73 and Pilot Knob Road.

Jay Priester, vice president of development and leasing for Cambridge Properties, said the development featuring the Florida-based grocery store has been in the works since 2008. However, the economic recession and local sewer issues slowed early progress, finally picking back up in 2014.

Priester said the location for Publix, as well as the entire three-phase project, is perfect because it’s one of the busiest intersections in the area. Denver as a whole, he said, is experiencing a lot of growth.

“We’ve been working with Publix on other locations, so we knew it was an underserved hole where they could serve,” Priester said. “It’s best fit for this market.”

Priester made special note of Trilogy, Denver’s newest 55 and older community. He said that Trilogy, combined with 22 other new subdivisions that are in the planning or development stages, makes Denver one of the fastest growing areas.

“Overall, the property is 30 acres and we’re developing the first 16 now,” Priester said.

The other acreage will be used to build a professional park, which will be Phase Two, and Phase Three will consist of 240 apartment homes, said Priester.

So far, phase one includes Publix, Crafty Burg’r n' Tap, UPS and a nail salon — only five retail spaces remain.

“In terms of chains, the community has expressed a huge interest in local and farm-to-table restaurants, “ Priester said.

One of the largest changes in the area will lie just outside of Cambridge Village. Priester said that the developers are putting in a new road and traffic signal on N.C. 16, which will connect N.C. 16 to Pilot Knob Road.

“We were impressed from the start with the proposed layout of Cambridge Village and with its potential for more to come,” Randy Hawkins, Lincoln County’s zoning administrator, said in an email.

“This development will create a new road grid with internal connections, connections to adjoining tracts of land and access to N.C. 16 Business, N.C. 73 and Pilot Knob Road. This will help to disperse traffic and aid future development in the area,” Hawkins said.

The process went smoothly, Priester said.  

“A lot of times there can be contentious zonings, but this was not. I’ve probably gotten the most positive feedback from this community,” Priester said.

Priester said that the village is currently working to find smaller, quaint restaurants to fill the spaces in phase one and actively working on business park plans for Phase Two.

“We want to raise the bar for commercial architecture in East Lincoln,” Priester said.

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