Luxury Apartments Planned for Morganton Road
A Fayetteville company hopes to expand its geographical reach by building a gated $20 million apartment complex along the north side of Morganton Road as part of a larger development.
Watson Caviness, a managing partner of Caviness & Cates, unveiled a conceptual master plan Monday before the Southern Pines Town Council that includes The Legends at Morganton Road, which would feature 288 luxury apartments and a clubhouse with hotel-like amenities.
“I think it will be something you’ll be proud to have here,” he said. “We have done a massive demographic study and firmly believe that there’s a demand for this project. We’re addressing an unmet need.”
The apartment complex is located on 18 acres of the 115-acre tract, directly across Morganton from Brucewood Road.
If approved, there will be 12 buildings consisting of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, as well as detached garages for rent.
The 7,000-square-foot clubhouse calls for amenties such as a theater, game room and fitness center that will open round-the-clock by swiping an access card. Outside, there will be a pool and playground. Four of the apartment buildings would be constructed in an initial phase.
“It’s hard to market a property without putting the clubhouse and pool in on the front end,” Caviness said. “People don’t want to be promised something like this. They want to see it first.”
Caviness, who expects build-out to take 27 months, added that the complex would be nicely landscaped.
“We will do everything we can to save trees,” he said. “We plan on leaving a lot of green space.”
The master plan shows office and retail space — and perhaps a hotel — fronting Morganton.
Fred Hobbs, a principal at Hobbs, Upchurch & Associates in Southern Pines, said the plan is purposely vague.
“We’d like to submit the site plan for the apartments on a parallel track with the master plan,” Hobbs said. “We don’t want the plan for the apartments held up to get approval for the master plan.
“The 18 acres for the apartments is the first parcel under contract. That is why, at this point in time, the master plan has to be this simple.”
Mayor David McNeill said he liked the concept.
“We look forward to hearing more as you move through the process,” McNeill said. “I think this is something we would like to welcome in Southern Pines.”
Town Manager Reagan Parsons said the next step for Caviness & Cates is to submit an application that would first be considered by the Southern Pines Planning Board, which would make a recommendation to the Town Council. The council would then have the final say.
“I don’t think they got a negative reaction, so I would be surprised if we don’t see an application in the very near future,” Parsons said Tuesday.
He added that a public hearing would be held before both town boards.
Caviness said he hopes the town will expedite the approval process.
“Because we’re excited about the project and what it brings to Southern Pines,” he said. “We already have the financing in place. We would love to break ground in the fall.”
The proposed project is on the same piece of land owned by the Van Camp family that Bob Sonnenblick, a developer from Pacific Palisades, Calif., wanted to build an upscale outlet mall last year.
But the two parties had a falling out, and Sonnenblick then set his sights on land along U.S. 1 owned by the Bell family.
In other business Monday at its monthly work session, the council approved the installation of two Progress Energy Carolinas charging stations in the parking lot behind the Southern Pines Public Library.
The stations, scheduled to be installed by the end of August, only charge electric cars. Customers can use the chargers by swiping their credit cards.
The program is partly funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Currently, 24 electric charging stations have been installed in the Carolinas. The first two stations were installed in Cary last September. The closest two stations to Moore County are in Pittsboro on the Central Carolina Community College campus.
Two stations are also scheduled to be installed in Pinehurst next month in the sand parking lot downtown.
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at (910) 693-2474 or email@example.com.
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