Downtown Mixed-Use Development Project
The Town Board adopted the Town’s first economic development strategy in December 2014 and made the recruitment of new in-fill mixed-use development one of its major objectives. Since then the Town has been aggressively pursuing new development and rehabilitation projects to create economic opportunity throughout its downtown.
The Downtown Mixed-Use Project Idea
When creating the Town's economic development strategy in 2014, the Town Board unanimously agreed that one of the major initiatives of the Town's Economic Development Department should be the recruitment of new, private sector mixed-use development projects to its downtown. Fuquay-Varina's downtown with its unique footprint has the opportunity to capture new infill development throughout both the Fuquay and Varina Districts. Shortly after the inclusion of recruiting new mixed-use development opportunities into its economic development strategy, Town Staff began to engage downtown property owners to determine their interest in new downtown development. In early 2015, the Town Economic Development Department hired the Development Finance Initiative (DFI) to assist the Town in its assessment and feasibility of creating new mixed-use development opportunities.
The Town has assembled a 3.5 acre site located in the downtown Fuquay District along Main Street & E. Academy Street. The site is currently zoned "Downtown Center 1 (DC-1) Conditional Zoning District" by the Town's Land Development Ordinance. The Downtown Center District was designed to be the downtown primary retail district for the downtown. This downtown zoning was created to encourage concentrated, pedestrian-oriented retail, service, office and residential mixed-uses.
Work to Date & Project Status:
- December 2014 - Town Board adopts first economic development strategy; makes the recruitment of mixed-use development private sector investment to its downtown a major strategic initiative.
- March 2015 - Town hires DFI to assist in downtown mixed-use development project efforts.
- March 2016 - Town/DFI hosts community engagement meetings to gather input on downtown mixed-use project ideas.
- June 2016 - Town begins land assembly & site control process.
- August 2016 - DFI updates and completes downtown market & feasibility study.
- March 2017 - Town hires JDavis Architects to draft preliminary site design concepts.
- May 10, 2017 - Town Staff, DFI and JDavis hosted an opportunity for downtown merchants and citizens to learn more the preliminary design scheme options and offer feedback related to a potential mixed-use project in the downtown Fuquay District.
- May 16, 2017 - Fuquay-Varina Board of Commissioners approved a final design scheme recommended by Town staff.
- May/June 2017 - Town to release Request for Developers solicitation document to recruit master developer to build project.
- June 2017 - Town to release developer solicitation document; Request for Proposals.
- August/September 2017 - Town/DFI to evaluate developer responses & proposals.
- September 15, 2017 - Town receives responses from qualified developers to undertake project.
- October 17, 2017 - Town Staff, upon review of developer proposals recommends Armada Hoffler Properties out of Virginia Beach, VA as the project's "preferred" developer to undertake the project.
- November 2017 through September 2018 - Town Staff and Armada Hoffler Properties to negotiate a development agreement that outlines the project's financing, site plan, construction schedule and specific land use planning in concert with the Town's vision.
Project Documents & Materials
- Approved Design Scheme - May 16, 2017
- Downtown Market Feasibility Study 2015/2016
- Development Process for Mixed-Use Development Project
- Concept Renderings Options A & B
- Concept Renderings Options & Site Layout
- Concept Rendering #1 (UPDATED - Oct. 2017)
- Concept Rendering #2 (UPDATED - Oct. 2017)
- Town Board Preferred Developer Presentation 10/17/2017
Downtown Market Analysis
In March 2015, the Town's Economic Development Department hired UNC School of Government, Development Finance Initiative (DFI) staff to assist the Town in exploring market research and an assessment of its downtown that can be used to leverage new infill mixed-use development that promotes a walk-able and livable downtown. Please Click HERE to review the market analysis. Since the end of 2015, the Town has been meeting with downtown stakeholders, business merchants and members of the entire community to solicit the community’s input on future downtown developments. Fuquay-Varina citizens have had an opportunity to offer input and ideas as to what the future of downtown Fuquay-Varina should look like and how to maximize its potential through public and private investment.
During 2016, the Town's Economic Development Department worked to identify property downtown that is positioned to build a catalyst, mixed-use development project that includes civic, commercial, retail and residential uses. During this time, the Town Board authorized funding to perform pre-development services to analyze and identify specific sites for development, prepare financial models to determine project scale, evaluate and recommend financing options, identify potential private development partners and support the Town in negotiation of development services agreements with development partner(s).
Site Selection & Design Process
Throughout most of 2016 & 2017, the Town analyzed downtown properties and negotiated with property owners to assemble a downtown site suitable to create new infill mixed-use development opportunities. In 2016, the Town identify and assembled a 3.5 acre site consisting of four different property owners and 10 parcels that are well-poised to accommodate and leverage a new private sector mixed-use development project. The 3.5 acre project site is located on the corner of Main & E Academy Streets in the Fuquay District. In March 2016, JDavis Architects (Raleigh, NC) was hired by the Town to provide provide conceptual development scenarios that take into consideration the surrounding project area (adjacent streets, proximate buildings, and downtown context), resulting in a schematic design that preserves and enhances Fuquay-Varina’s downtown character. Once a final design scheme is approved by the Town Board, the Town with assistance from DFI will solicit an appropriate development partner(s) to execute a final detailed site/building plan for the project site. In June 2017, the Town Board will issue a Request for Developers to partner with the Town developing the mixed-use project.