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Development on key corner gets first review by board

By Kirk Ross
Staff Writer

Carrboro — Although the word “drugstore” and the letters “C,” “V” and “S” never came up in consecutive order, what are widely perceived as plans for a building at the corner of Greensboro and Weaver streets that would house a new location for the drugstore chain received a courtesy review during a work session by the Carrboro Board of Aldermen Tuesday night at Town Hall.

Chris Bostic, an engineering consultant representing a “potential applicant” seeking to build a 24,000-square-foot building, presented an overview of the project, along with a draft of what the two-story structure might look like.

The town uses courtesy reviews ahead of formal applications to give developers guidance and raise questions prior to the drafting of specific site and building plans.

Bostic said the developer, Mark Pantlin of Cary, is working on behalf of the owner of two parcels – the former bank building on the corner of the two streets and a mill house at 104 Center St. The owner of the parcels is listed in Orange County tax records as Revco Discount Drug Centers located at One CVS Drive in Woonsocket, RI.

Bostic said the owners also have letters of intent to purchase properties along Greensboro and Center streets owned by James and Jerry Sparrow and dentist Debra Seaton.

The schematic of the project shows the building located on the corner close to the street with two parking lots and access to the north along Greensboro and Short streets. The existing parking lot along Weaver Street would likely remain in use also, he said.

The first floor of the building would be used by a single tenant, Bostic said, and the second leased as commercial space.

Board members indicated that while the project has economic positives for the town, determining how it fits in downtown will be critical.

Dan Coleman said limiting the traffic on Center Street would be a key issue along with shielding the parking lots to maintain the neighborhood feel of the street.

“We have some residents who have put a lot of work into homes there to keep them up as part of the historic fabric of downtown Carrboro,” he said.

Mayor Mark Chilton said one solution might be to close off Short Street near Center Street, provided an agreement could be worked out with Fitch Lumber. The driveway to the project, he said, could then be realigned across from the entrance to the Harris Teeter parking lot.

Board member Jacquie Gist said she wants to make sure a careful look is taken at the hours of operation, timing of deliveries and lighting issues.

Several neighbors of the project attended the presentation.

Jeff Herrick, who lives on Center Street and has helped gather information for his neighbors on the project’s progress, said he was glad to see a good turnout at the presentation as well as the detail of points raised by the board.

“The aldermen definitely reflected the concerns of neighbors on Center Street and Oak Street,” he said. “And it was nice to see a lot of people come out to show their concern. It’s still a very vague plan.”

Herrick said once more specifics are seen, he expects even more interest in the plan.

“It’s the center of town,” he said. “It’s important.”

Bostic said he expects the next step for the client will be a meeting with the project’s neighbors, possibly in January.

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