Cary, NC – Back in 2017, there were big plans to redevelop Cary Towne Center with IKEA as the new anchor draw with its first Triangle store. Then IKEA changed its mind about new store formats and pulled out of their decision, leaving plans for the mall in limbo. Now there’s a new preliminary development plan for the mall, with multi-use buildings and several with a proposed maximum height of 12 stories.
In the past few years, several anchor stores at Cary Towne Center have closed, including Sears, Macy’s and JCPenney, not to mention IKEA changing its plans to open a store here even after going through the rezoning process. Real estate and development firm Turnbridge Equities bought the mall earlier this year.
In the preliminary development plan on the Town of Cary website, the new plan divides the mall site into 16 blocks. Within each block, there are different uses specified (residential, office, commercial or hotel/motel), and these uses are also divided between the ground floor and upper floors. This is consistent with the previous plans for Cary Towne Center’s redevelopment, as well as plans for the adjacent Fenton, where buildings will have multiple uses within them.
Each block also has minimum and maximum building heights spelled out. Three of the buildings have a minimum height of four stories and a maximum of 12 stories. The PDP also says a one-story building must have a minimum height of 22 feet.
The plan also includes a parking deck at the corner of SW Maynard Road and Cary Towne Boulevard, with a maximum height of eight stories, with two entrances from both Cary Towne Boulevard and Convention Drive. The PDP puts the parking deck behind where the Dave and Buster’s is currently located in the mall.
“Since acquiring Cary Towne Center in January, and amid the declining retail environment and ongoing store closures at the mall, we have begun taking steps to revitalize the property, take advantage of its central location within the Research Triangle and better serve the town of Cary. The property offers a tremendous opportunity to be reinvented with a vibrant mix of potential uses,” said Jason Davis, managing director at Turnbridge Equities in a statement. “To realize this potential, we have submitted for a comprehensive rezoning of the property that will allow us to add new uses to the Cary Towne Center and contribute to Cary’s thriving community. We look forward to continuing to work together with the Town of Cary and its leadership throughout the rezoning and on the long-term redevelopment vision.”
While the PDP leaves out the Dillard’s, this does not mean that all of the Cary Towne Center site would be demolished, as it also includes buildings such as the Starbucks, Jumpstreet and AT&T store, among other businesses. Instead, this PDP lays out what can and cannot be built on the mall site with this proposal. Additionally, both Dillard’s and Belk own their own sites and were left standing in the previous redevelopment plan.
“Cary Towne Center anchor department store, Belk, will remain a part of the property now and in the future. Belk shares in our long-term vision to reimagine the property, and looks forward to the reinvention of Cary Towne Center and to continuing to serve its customers and the community,” Davis said.
This development plan is still preliminary so it is subject to change.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos by Michael Papich and the Town of Cary.