Lori Bush: Parkside Town Commons

Republished from the blog of Lori Bush, At-Large member of Cary Town Council.

Cary, NC – I recently wrote about the new development at Bradford, and folks seemed to like the insight and updates on new construction in Cary.  So, in keeping with that previous post, I thought I’d give an update on a project that will be one of the first in the Alston Regional Activity Center.

Alston, Where is that?

The Alston Regional Activity center is approximately 970 acres located at the northeast corner of the intersection of NC Hwy 55 and Interstate 540.  The Town believes that this area will be a big attraction due to its proximity to RTP, and quick access to local roads and interchanges.

In 2006, the Town Council created a special Mixed Use Overlay district as well as an Activity Center Concept plan to help guide development in that area, and one of the first developments to move forward is Parkside Town Commons.

Parkside Town Commons Highlights

I reached out to the developer this week to get an update on their plans, timelines and thoughts regarding the site.  During my meeting I got a good overview of their phased plan and the history of the project.  (You can also check out their plans on their website.)

Site Plan

Here are the highlights:

  1. The entire plan encompasses about 110 acres, providing over 300,000 square feet of retail.
  2. The extension of “Little Drive” is currently in progress (Little Drive turns into O’Kelly Chapel Road and crosses the railroad tracks on the east side of the property)
  3. The railroad crossing will be “at grade”
  4. Public art will be located throughout the area

Phased Plan:  There are several phases, with the first being the larger retail at the south end of the property

  1. A 135,300 square foot TARGET is the anchor store
  2. Additional large retail space (~26,000 S.F.) in that quadrant
  3. Potential grocery store

 Follow-on phase includes:

  1. 120 room hotel
  2. Movie Theatre
  3. Significant number of smaller retail and restaurants, including “junior anchor” stores.
  4. Approximately 280 apartments.


The site plan is currently in its 3rd review at the Town of Cary and construction on the first phase should begin the first quarter of 2013 – with the TARGET Store opening in March of 2014.  The next phases will be developed soon after.

They have a video online, as well.

Little Known Secret Bike Trail

By the way, did you know that there is a very cool mountain bike trail on the other side of this property in RTP?

The Research Triangle Foundation worked with the Triangle Off-road Cyclists and Kite Realty (the developer of some of this property) to build a mountain bike trail.  Opened in 2009, it is very popular and has about 2 miles of trails with stream crossings, ladder bridges and lots of dips and rolling contours.  You can access this trail from the gravel parking lot off of Louis Stevens Drive.

Thanks for reading!  If you have any comments, questions, or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment or email me.

(Parkside Town Commons pictures from Kite Realty Website)

14 replies
  1. katie deluca-brock
    katie deluca-brock says:

    I would like to know when the Parkside Town Commons apts. will be ready for leasing and is there a website to look at floorplans,etc. Will garages be available? These are the apts. on Hwy 55 at the new Parkside Town Commons shopping center. Also, a Trader Joe’s should definitely be put in there.

  2. Gary in Cary, NC
    Gary in Cary, NC says:

    The new Target opened on 3/4, with Grand Opening set for Sunday, 3/9.

    Very similar in size to the store in Park West. Extensive wireless phone selection at front of store, and Customer service is out by the checkout area.

    Looks like another Kroger-owned H-T under construction at same area.

    An employee mentioned it took about 27 semi-trailers to stock the place in about 4 weeks.

    Hope Cary lets them put up some signage so you know its open, just west of 540 at 55.

    The area sure has a LOT of on-going construction around it.

    WIBNI if there was a walkable light-rail stop nearby?

    Gallon milk price is lower than Wal-Mart!

  3. Dominick Ognibene
    Dominick Ognibene says:

    Hi Lori, So what will happen now for the planned Alston Regional Activity Center, since American Asset has filed bankruptcy? Just wondering if another group will take it over. Thanks, Dominick

  4. Lori Bush
    Lori Bush says:

    @Shawn, here is the information I received regarding Alston. Sorry, I should have posted it here – but sent it to Julie Risa directly.

    Response from Dan Matthys:
    “I believe you are referring to the apartment development known as Amberton at Stonewater (due north of Traditions at Stonewater). Amberton at Stonewater is actively under review and therefore not located on our interactive development map, however, I can walk you through how to find the plan under review. ”

    Here is a link to the development plans:

    If you would like more information, you can contact Dan Matthys at (919) 380-2774. Hope that helps.

  5. Shawn Cockerham
    Shawn Cockerham says:

    Hi Lori, did you get any additional info as to the development timeline for the Alston RAC? I reached out to the 2 contacts on the TOC site and Merideth’s email came back as undeliverable. If you have a contact, I would appreciate it!


  6. Risa
    Risa says:

    I have searched and cannot find any information regarding the new apartment construction next to Tradition at Stonewater on Alston Way. The Town of Cary has an interactive map from December of this year however, there is nothing regarding this new complex. Can you help? I would like to know the name of the complex

  7. John
    John says:

    It would be nice to see a Super Target (with a grocery store) developed here. The proposed square feet for the Target seems to indicate that this will be a “regular” Target. There are several Harris Teeters nearby so it would be nice to have a Super Target with lower-priced groceries available.

  8. Lori Bush
    Lori Bush says:

    @Robert – I hear ya, and mentioned that to the developer, as well. Their thoughts are that those are “big box stores” and residential is not likely to be as prone to be right next to it. (I disagree, like you – and pointed out the apartments that will be next to the Target in Morrisville.)

    One other item to note – there will be a number of different types of developments that will likely come into the Alton area. For more into on the concept plan, take a look at:

    Hope that helps!

  9. Robert Bush
    Robert Bush says:

    Lori,thanks for sharing. It’s a bit disappointing to see another development that has little regard for transit. CTran would likely serve the center along Little/O’Kelley Chapel. The Target is well located, but the apartments are at the far end of a reasonable walk (over 1/4 mile away. It would be best to move them closer to Little, or at least reorient the Town Center retail to be arrayed along the roadway between the apartments and Little. At least then, the residents would not have to transverse a large expanse of parking.

  10. Lindsey Chester
    Lindsey Chester says:

    Thanks for the update Lori-
    I am sure the folks west of 55 are thrilled as most have nowhere nearby to shop without heading up to Durham’s Southpoint.

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