Sandhill Common back

Architectural rendering of Sandhill Commons shopping plaza on U.S. 15-501, courtesy of Koontz Jones Design. 

Two restaurants are competing for a single space in the not-yet-built Sandhill Commons development on U.S. 15-501. Though neither company was named, land developer Bob Koontz offered a few tantalizing clues when he presented an amended site plan that was unanimously approved by the Southern Pines Town Council on Tuesday.

Both restaurants have strong online ordering platforms, he said, and both require a drive-through.

Koontz presented the plans on behalf of property owner John Zhang, who intends to develop an 18,000-square-foot shopping center with two mixed retail and restaurant buildings where the former Mellow Mushroom and Four Oaks Bank were once located. Those two structures were demolished in June 2018.

Considered a “total redevelopment of the site,” the Sandhill Commons project mimics the style and setbacks of the neighboring Red Bowl Asian Bistro restaurant, which Zhang also owns.

The amended site plan includes the addition of approximately .7 acres of land that will allow a new access point connecting the development to Turner Street, an increase in the total number of parking spaces, and a new drive-through on the eastside of the second building in the project.

The buildings will also be accessible from U.S. 15-501, Commerce Avenue, and via a parking lot connection with Red Bowl.

Koontz said the drive-through is needed to accommodate a prospective tenant, but stopped short of naming the two interested parties.

“There is a bit of a competition going,” he said, “but the tenant has not been finalized.”

Contact Laura Douglass at (910) 693-2474 or​

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