A new development may give new life to the old McBrayer/Leith Dealership on U.S. 15-501 and U.S. 1. The site has sat empty for several years, but that may soon be coming to an end.
At Monday’s meeting of the Aberdeen Town Board, the board approved a developer’s request for a conditional use permit to construct five buildings on the site anchored by a proposed gym.
D&N Development is planning to bring a mixed-use development that would have over 31,000 square feet of retail space, a 25,000 square foot gym and a 3,500 square foot restaurant. There has been no announcement of tenants.
The site was originally Wicks Chevrolet, then the McBrayers bought it in 1983 and opened McBrayer’s Chrysler Plymouth, which in turn was sold to the Leith Automotive Group in 2010. Three years later, Leith Automotive bought the Steve Jones Honda Franchise down the road and moved operations there in 2013. Since then, the lot has sat vacant.
Residents Bill and Judy Oerke spoke at the meeting raising several concerns about their business, Kiddie Korner Daycare, located on their home’s property that sits behind the development.
They expressed concern about people from the gym being around the children thus wanting to ensure the children’s safety. They also voiced concerns about the closeness of the gym to their home, but their primary concern was water problems.
According to Judy, the property has been in the family since the 1970s, but since the construction of Magnolia Square, heavy rain causes flooding on the property. During Hurricane Florence, the area experienced heavy flooding, resulting in thousands of dollars of damage to the daycare and forced the business to close several months.
Graham Smith, who is the architect for the project, stated they are aware of the drainage issues, and the developer is working on plans to mitigate the runoff.
In the discussion following the presentation, the board noted that the problem is partly caused by the lack of drainage on several roads in the area. Complicating the situation is the fact that some of those roads are state-owned, and the town has no jurisdiction over them.
The couple suggested a retaining wall which the board rejected after a long discussion. Instead, they applied several conditions to the permit to remedy some of the couple’s concerns.
These included requiring the developer to build additional fencing to address the privacy concerns. Additionally, they required a 15-foot landscape buffer on any shared property lines.
Feature photo via Google Maps.
~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.
Contact him at [email protected] or (910) 639-9303.