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A long-dormant development behind Crabtree Valley Mall could break ground as soon as this spring.
Peter Pappas of Charlotte-based Pappas Properties recently purchased the foreclosed Crabtree Village site, a hilly 17.9 acres between Blue Ridge Road, Crabtree Valley Avenue and Homewood Banks Drive.
Pappas is planning a scaled-back version of the mixed-use project first proposed in 2006. The first phase, expected to start this year, would include a 292-unit apartment complex. Plans originally called for 315 apartments, along with a mix of townhouses, shops and restaurants. A retail component and possibly a hotel are still on the drawing board, but in a later phase with no construction timeline.
We are very bullish on the Raleigh market, said Pappas, whose developments have primarily been in the Charlotte area. We are pleased to acquire the initial phases of this project.
Pappas got a green light Wednesday from the Raleigh City Council to drop two parking decks from the apartment complex. We believe weve found a way to improve the project by eliminating two parking decks and replacing it with surface parking, he said, adding that the change makes the parking areas less obstrusive and gives residents and emergency vehicles easier access to buildings.
The project elicited controversy when it was first approved five years ago, as some neighbors feared the development would exacerbate the areas stormwater problems and would require too much grading on the hill.
A Wells Fargo holding company still owns six additional acres of the site, known as Kidds Hill because it was home to Kidd Brewer, the Raleigh developer who sold the land for Crabtree Valley Mall.
Crabtree Village was one of several projects put on hold in the area during the real-estate downturn. A development on the other end of Crabtree Valley Avenue remains delayed. The Soleil Center, a planned 43-story tower on Creedmoor Road, stalled in mid-2008 because of a lack of financing.
But Pappas purchase is the latest sign the Crabtree Valley market could be heating up again. A new 135-room Hampton Inn & Suites a few blocks away was set to welcome its first guests Friday. And the House Creek Greenway opened this year, connecting the area to nearby Glen Eden Park.
The Crabtree Village complex aims to provide a walkable community in a historically car-centric part of Raleigh. Residents will be able to leave their cars on the Crabtree Village property and walk to nearby destinations or take advantage of public transit routes, according to Pappas Properties master plan document.