Land clearing Eagle Landing

Land is being cleared off U.S. 15-501 near Voit Gilmore Lane in Southern Pines for the Eagle Landing apartment complex. Ted Fitzgerald/The Pilot

Land clearing work is underway at Eagle Landing, a new 288-unit apartment complex on U.S. 15-501 near Voit Gilmore Lane in Southern Pines.

Wilmington-based Zimmer Development Company (ZDC) presented conceptual plans last June and received the green-light on the architectural design earlier this month.

As presented, the project calls for 12 three-story buildings that include a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, a clubhouse, pool, playground and dog park, among other amenities.

Adam Tucker, ZDC’s director of development, anticipated a two-phase build out. The first phase includes construction of the internal road system, community amenities and seven buildings, or 168 units.

“We will push to get the first phase done by the end of the year,” Tucker said.

Conceptual rendering of an apartment building

Conceptual illustration of an apartment building. (Image courtesy Koontz-Jones Design)

Work on the second phase, which includes construction of the remaining four buildings, will be determined by market interest.

“If there is momentum with pre-leasing, we will roll right into the second phase,” he said. “From a site standpoint, we are putting in every bit of infrastructure with the first phase.”

With an eye on prospective tenant needs, ZDC is also incorporating elevator service in three of the buildings.

“Elevators are atypical for a three-story garden style apartment. But there is a lot of diversity in Moore County’s demographics. When we come into a market, we try to do things that aren’t already being done as a way to differentiate ourselves.”

The 31-acre site, formerly known as the Grantham tract, had previously attracted the attention of Halpern Development Co. for a proposed $20 million shopping center that was reportedly to be anchored by a Publix grocery store.

Those plans were met with heavy opposition from neighboring property owners, in particular members of The Country Club of North Carolina. Concerns were raised about potential traffic congestion along Morganton Road and environmental impacts from storm water run-off from such a large commercial development.

Ariel view of the Southern Pines property where a new apartment community is being developed

Aerial view of the Southern Pines property where a new apartment community is being developed. (Image via Google Earth)

An application for the Halpern project was never formally presented to town officials, and the property was put back on the commercial real estate market.

ZDC took a different approach that restricts access with automated gates at the primary entrance on U.S. 15-501 and a secondary entrance on Morganton Road. In addition, the layout clusters the apartment buildings on the northern side of the tract which provides substantial setbacks from both travel corridors and natural buffers, including protected wetland areas, to decrease run-off or the possibility of sedimentation entering Aberdeen Creek on the southern side of the property.

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