Wallace Commons, counseling firm plan expansions
By Emily Ford
SALISBURY - Still no word on tenants for the proposed Wallace Commons expansion, but the project manager says leases are pending and names could be revealed in October.Ben Carroll of The Hutton Co. appeared Tuesday before the Salisbury Planning Board, which recommended approval of the site plan.
Based in Tennessee, Hutton wants to develop a 113,000-square-foot expansion at the Kohl's-anchored shopping center at Julian Road and Interstate 85. Plans call for a department store, a second anchor and two other retail spaces.
If City Council and Rowan County officials give their blessing, construction could begin as early as December.
Also at the Planning Board meeting, another developer said Lyerly Counseling Services at 523 S. Main St. plans to build a new office building on Rose Lane off of Jake Alexander Boulevard, near the local chapter of the American Red Cross.
Lydia Harwood, manager for Rockwell Building Systems, said Patti Lyerly has outgrown the Lyerly Building. She has been sharing space with husband Brent Lyerly's funeral home business since a fire destroyed its building in April.
Patti Lyerly wants to build a 4,000-square-foot office and could start construction late this year, Harwood said.
As shown in the site plan for the Wallace Commons expansion, the exterior design for three of four stores is complete, Carroll said. But the elevation for the major tenant - a department store - could change slightly, he said.
The potential department store tenant is "tweaking their prototype" but expects no drastic changes, Carroll said.
Belk has been considering a move from the Salisbury Mall to Wallace Commons, but developers, the property owner and Belk remain mum on whether the retail giant would occupy the proposed 75,000-square-foot department store marked on plans with a large, blue "B."
Overall, "the design we have proposed is in character with the existing center, using similar and compatible materials," Carroll said.
The proposed expansion doesn't have to comply with the city's new Land Development Ordinance because the developer is amending a site plan approved in 2008 for Home Depot, Zoning Administrator David Phillips said.
Home Depot never built a store but still owns the property.
Phillips said City Council, which will consider the project in September, could direct the developer to submit final elevation drawings to the city's Technical Review Committee for approval.
When Patti Lyerly approached city planners about rezoning two parcels for her new office building, the city included three additional properties in the rezoning request.
Updating all five parcels from residential to residential mixed use (residential plus light commercial), makes more sense, said Preston Mitchell, Planning and Development Services manager.
The parcels include Lyerly's two vacant tracts, an occupied house, Woodie's Painting at 1827 Statesville Boulevard and the Christian Science Church next door.
The homeowner is in favor of rezoning because it makes the house more marketable, Mitchell said. The house could remain residential or become a professional office.
Edgewood Drive would provide a good buffer between the rezoned parcels and Milford Hills neighborhood, said Mitchell, who has heard no complaints from neighbors about the proposed change.
"Thirty years ago, they would have crucified you if you came in here with something like this," said Planning Board member Randy Reamer, who grew up in Milford Hills.
But the area near the intersection of Jake Alexander Boulevard and Statesville Boulevard has become increasingly commercial in the past three decades.
"I see no problem with this recommendation," Reamer said.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.