Downtown Cary

Updates on Chatham Walk, Urban Place and More Downtown Developments

Cary, NC – Downtown Cary is quickly redeveloping and at a recent Cary Chamber of Commerce meeting, three developers talked about new plans, some of which are already under construction and some starting in the next 12 months.

Chatham Walk

Downtown Cary

Render of Chatham Street Commercial’s Chatham Walk

Jordan Gussenhoven, founder and owner of Chatham Street Commercial, started the Wednesday, May 1, 2019 meeting at the Cary Chamber of Commerce and talked about the Chatham Walk condominium project, which will be 33 units built on the corner of E Chatham Street and Urban Drive. This site is currently under construction.

“We’re expected to be done by the first quarter of 2020,” Gussenhoven said.

Gussenhoven said Chatham Walk will include both surface parking as well as podium parking underneath the building. As far as pricing, Gussenhoven said a one bedroom condominium will start at $325,000, with two bedroom units also available in two different styles.

Chatham Walk is located at the former Williams House location and Gussenhoven said that building’s Streamline Moderne architecture style is the inspiration for the look of Chatham Walk.

“It will have corner glass, cabinet windows and white brick,” Gussenhoven said.

Speaking of the Williams House, that was relocated further down on E Chatham Street, across from Midtown Square. That building will be repurposed, with the historic brick section in the front to be used as retail while a new, modern building on the back will fit three stories of office.

Gussenhoven also emphasized that Chatham Street Commercial was not required to preserve the Williams House but he said they wanted to keep as much of it intact as possible.

“Chatham Street doesn’t have a lot of its old bones left, so it’s important to preserve that,” Gussenhoven said.

Render of Chatham Street Commercial’s plan for the Williams House

Urban Place

Also on the corner of E Chatham Street and Urban Drive will be a new apartment building, Urban Place, with 28 units including studio apartments.

Richard Ladd of Ladd Properties said they will start building next year, with construction taking at least a full year to complete.

“We can also provide short term corporate rentals,” Ladd said. “And these units come already furnished.”

Between Urban Place and Chatham Walk, Ladd said the idea is to create small walkable districts around Downtown Cary.

“These make two bookends as you enter Chatham,” Ladd said. “We all want to create little districts around Downtown where people can walk and shop and eat.”

Another of Ladd Properties’ projects is a brick warehouse at 150 E Cedar St., previously used for printing. Ladd said it is around 5,000 square feet and they will start repurposing it in the coming months.

“We’re trying to keep the warehouse feel and leave the exposed brick,” Ladd said.

Ladd said they were not currently set on whether this would be office, retail or a restaurant but he said they are looking into hooking up the appropriate plumbing for a restaurant use and said he personally is interested in seeing some sort of food hall.

Downtown Cary

150 E Cedar St.

Downtown Townhomes

Josh Swindell, one of the founders of Envision Homes, talked about the townhome project in the block between S Academy Street, Park Street and S Walker Street. This site, called Park Station, will be 30 townhomes, mostly facing Park Street, with about 2,400 square feet per unit.

“It will be a mix of traditional architecture and modern design,” Swindell said, adding that each unit will have an elevator.

For prices, Swindell said they will go for roughly $300 to $325 per square foot and said the target demographic is people in Cary who are looking to downsize after their children go off to college or move out of the house.

“There’s already a whole generation that raised their families here,” Swindell said. “It’s a place to scale down.”

Swindell said construction will start this Autumn. On the side of Park Street across from the Mayton Inn, which is where these townhomes will be, there are currently dead telephone lines and Swindell said they are waiting for AT&T to take them down.

Also at this meeting, Director of Economic Development Ted Boyd talked about the mixed use development in between the Downtown Cary Park and the new library, which is currently up for rezoning.

“It will be retail along the park and residential by Walnut Street,” Boyd said.

Speaking of the library, Boyd said the RFQ for the old library will be this November. There are currently no plans for that library site but Boyd said the library building will be torn down and a new building will be put in its place.

Story by Michael Papich. Photos by Chatham Street Commercial, Michael Papich and Hal Goodtree. 

6 replies
  1. Debbie W
    Debbie W says:

    Is there any room for something more affordable – say around 150-200k? You would think that Cary would like a bit more diversity downtown, but maybe not. Seems to me you are only trying to attract a certain type of person (probably wealthy and white)….just my opinion.

  2. L. Tolar
    L. Tolar says:

    When, when, when will the owners of the Academy Street/Chatham classic gas station be transformed into Cary’s version of Geer Street Garden?

    And yeah, I agree about the architecture of the “Old” Cary Library. It’s a charming, circa 1970 small town anchor institution-looking fixture and could be transformed into something akin to Wilmington’s Cotton Exchange or Carr Mill Mall, with several small boutique style businesses, coffee shops, with venues for local live music. What a shame it’s going to be demolished.

    A repurposed classic gas station and Cary’s Library could provide a lot of unique charm, but apparently that matters less than whatever…..

  3. Liz Ryan
    Liz Ryan says:

    Sorry to hear the old library is being torn down. If they’re trying for a mix of architectural styles, that is one of the nicest of that era. While I understand it may have infrastructure issues, why not fix them? It’s a very mellow building & new everything doesn’t make a place look like anything but a planned development, not an organic place like Wilmington or Charleston.

  4. Janet Couture
    Janet Couture says:

    I live on Urban Drive. Our neighborhood was against the condo building and now we have a 28 unit apartment complex beside it. We do not want this but it seems our voice, our concerns do not matter to the Town of Cary.

  5. Doc Thorne
    Doc Thorne says:

    Although exciting much of this is old news… I am reading and hearing a lot about residential builds however I, like others, am still of the opinion that in order to maintain a sustainable and viable business district some emphasis should be placed on luring (and developing class-A space for) a more professional clientele–medical, legal, et al–which would locate their offices among the merchants and restaurants thereby providing a more dependable, daily revenue source.

    • Mark Neill
      Mark Neill says:

      The development zone along Chatham does, in theory, permit for this sort of development. Don Frantz just recently posted about the LDO height limits that would allow the core more “dense”.

      65′ tall is a roomy ground-plus-three, decent ground-plus-three-and-rooftop, or tight ground-plus-4, story building. 90′ would give 5-7 floors.

      I’d find it hard to argue that two blocks of buildings like The Cary, Fidelity, and 215 E Chatham would be completely out of character in a downtown core thoroughfare.

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