• 41°

Latest West End Plaza plan contradicts county’s original intent

Proposed plan

Submitted photo - An architecture firm hired by Rowan County Commissioners has proposed that West End Plaza's parking lot be filled by green spaces and a walkway as part of a renovation project.

Submitted photo – An architecture firm hired by Rowan County Commissioners has proposed that West End Plaza’s parking lot be filled by green spaces and a walkway as part of a renovation project.

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — If Rowan County commissioners follow recommendations contained in a master plan presented Monday, they may end up with a hefty amount of space not occupied by county departments at the former Salisbury Mall.

The latest master plan for West End Plaza shows Social Services and the Health Department moving into the building next. Landscaping, greenery and pedestrian walkways would be added to the parking lot as part of the master plan. A veterans memorial could be placed at the entrance to the building, where a water fountain currently stands.

In the latest master plan, there’s also more than 130,000 square feet of “flex space.” Some of that space, but not all of it, would be occupied by private businesses. Less than half of the facility, however, would be used for county departments, which is what commissioners cited as the purpose of the building when they bought it for roughly $3.4 million in 2013.

Previously, local history, Code Enforcement and the Planning Department were potential tenants at West End Plaza. ADW Architects, hired to oversee West End Plaza renovation, told commissioners on Monday that those departments wouldn’t make sense in West End Plaza. Social Services and Health would be the only other departments added to West End Plaza. A community center would also be added, according to the master plan.

County commissioners didn’t take any action on the master plan or pick a specific layout they liked best. Commissioner Craig Pierce, however, said that he preferred an option that places a community center in the former J.C. Penney space, Social Services in the former Belk space and health adjacent to Veterans Services.

Pierce noted that the first option would displace two current tenants in West End Plaza. He also suggested that commissioners wait to make a final decision on how to organize tenants in West End Plaza.

“Personally, I just think there’s too much here to digest to make a decision today,” he said. “There’s too much to take in, too much that needs to be investigated to decide which way is best for us.”

Pierce suggested that commissioners compare the most recent master plan with one presented more than a year ago.

The original master plan includes many of the parking lot improvements and suggests placing a farmers market on one end of West End Plaza. However, it also suggests placing a number of county departments in West End Plaza that are not contained in the most recent plan.

County officials have previously raised the possibility of using parts of West End Plaza for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College or the Rowan-Salisbury School System. The newest master plan discounts both of those ideas.

The newest master plan also notes that the former Belk space needs a new roof.

ADW Architects didn’t include a cost with their presentation on Monday. Originally, the company estimated West End Plaza’s renovation would cost $27.58 million.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

Comments

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team

Education

All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18

Education

Shoutouts: Southern City Church awards educational gifts

Local

City to pave streets surrounding Bell Tower Green after park is constructed

Nation/World

Colonial Pipeline restarts operations days after major hack

Nation/World

Ohio’s million-dollar idea: Lottery prizes for vaccinations

Nation/World

GOP dumps defiant Trump critic Cheney from top House post

Nation/World

Israel steps up Gaza offensive, kills senior Hamas figures

Coronavirus

Fluctuating COVID-19 death number back to 302 in Rowan County

Crime

Habitual felon sentenced to at least 8 years in prison

Kannapolis

City of Kannapolis to have bike rodeo Saturday

Crime

Two more charged for operating illegal gambling businesses

Education

A.L. Brown celebrates seniors with signing day

Business

Rebounding, but not recovered: Rowan County tourism begins challenging path toward normalcy

High School

High school baseball: Padgett leads Mustangs; 100th win for West coach Graham

Coronavirus

RSS superintendent, Board of Health discuss strategies for increasing student vaccination rates

Education

East Spencer charter school files petition to contest charter revocation