Penick Construction Rattles Neighborhood
With apologies to Carole King, residents in the area of Rhode Island Avenue in Southern Pines can feel the earth move under their feet.
The shaking and rumbling is from construction of Penick Woodlands on the Penick Village campus. Work crews are three months into an 18-month process of building a three-story, 69-unit apartment complex and a two-story central hub/activities center.
At times, the work can be heard and felt on campus and in the surrounding neighborhood.
"When they run that vibratory compactor, it's similar to when Fort Bragg is bombing," said Jeff Hutchins, CEO of Penick Village. "It moves some pictures."
Phil Martinello, marketing director at Penick said he empathizes with those living in the neighborhood.
"I can feel it in my office, so I know there is a rumble through the neighborhood that they (individuals) are hearing and feeling, but there is nothing we can do about the noise."
The apartment building will feature several different floor plans. Apartments will range in size from 700- square feet and one bedroom to 1,800 square feet with two bedrooms
Currently, Penick Village has 195 residents. With the addition of the new apartment building, that number should grow to 310.
The central hub/activities center will be centrally located and allow the campus to be more walkable for residents. It will feature four dining areas, a life enrichment center with classrooms, multipurpose rooms and a theater, and a convenience store.
"It is a natural front door to our campus," Hutchins said. "It (hub) will also offer more services and opportunities to our residents."
The apartment building is scheduled for completion in July 2011. The hub should be finished by that February.
"It's going to be an 18-month adventure for us," Hutchins said.
This is the first major work on the Penick campus in nearly a half-century. Martinello said that has been a bit unsettling for some residents, but as the work has progressed, they have become more supportive.
"The most difficult thing is this has long been a quiet neighborhood and now there is all this activity " Martinello said. "(Residents) don't want to see change, but now that they are starting to see results of our efforts they are very supportive."
Hutchins said he has received few complaints, and the ones he hears about deal more with contractors parking vehicles in front of homes. Hutchins said that those issues are addressed as soon as they come up.
Prior to construction beginning, neighbors were notified by mail about the work that would be done. Penick also held community meetings, which Martinello said were sparsely attended.
Hutchins said he hopes that once the construction is completed, the new facilities will help Penick serve the community for years to come.
"It is solidifying us for the future as we prepare for the next generation of residents at Penick Village," he said.
Contact Tom Embrey at email@example.com.
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