The landscape of Fuquay-Varina continues to change, and we are excited to share with residents all of the new and exciting things that are in progress at this time. The projects that are underway range from several public facilities to retail businesses and new apartment complexes. The variety of development is just another indication of how fast our community is growing and how responsive that growth is to the needs of its residents.
Out on Holland Road, a brand new Public Service facility for the Town of Fuquay-Varina is slowly rising out of the dirt. The ground-breaking ceremony was held on June 30th and construction is progressing quickly. When completed, this facility will house the Public Works Department, and portions of the police, fire, and IT departments. This project is a much-needed improvement over the Public Works’ current facility on “the Hill,” which is located downtown under the water town in The Link.
Another public facility that has just been completed is the construction of a brand new school building for Southern Wake Academy on Old Powell Rd. The project was a long-awaited upgrade to their existing facilities in the same location. The new building is a three-story, 45,000 sf building with 21 classrooms, a gym, a cafetorium, and office space and is the first permanent structure on their property. Southern Wake Academy is a charter school for grades 6-12, and is free to the public as a public school managed by the department of public instruction.
Another school that is about to undergo a long-awaited facelift is Lincoln Heights Elementary. The renovation of this school will demolish the original construction of 1961, 1965, and 1975 and build new classrooms, a new multipurpose room, staff areas, child nutrition and plant operations space. Many existing classrooms will be renovated, as will the media center, administrative offices, student support centers, and the pre-K space. Originally slated for this work to begin in June of 2016, the project schedule has been accelerated to enable the work to begin in January.
On the commercial side of things, a project to renovate the old Variety Wholesalers warehouse on Durham Street in downtown Varina is underway at this time. The metal portion of the building has been upgraded and is in the process of being painted and upfit to provide more storage opportunities under the name “Ample Storage Center.” The brick portion of this property is at this time still undeveloped.
Most people are aware of the new Hardees restaurant that is being built on an outparcel in the Broad Street Market (near Food Lion on Hwy 55). This new business is rapidly nearing completion and will employ over 40 local residents. Also being reviewed for construction in this same shopping center is a standalone building for Realo Drugs, which is currently located on one end of the existing Broad Street Market. No timeframe for construction is available at this time.
Just a short distance up Hwy 55 from those projects is the construction site of a new Sheetz gas station and convenience facility. Located on the west side of the highway, on the corner of Old Powell Road, this location should be completed by the end of 2015.
On the other end of town are several new businesses or expansions of existing businesses that are worthy of note. The Fuquay-Varina Sports Center is being developed in the old Fuquay-Varina Flea Market building on Hwy 55 South toward Angier. Inside this facility already is Performance Sports Center, which opened in April. It offers gymnastics, cheer, and personal training classes. Projects under construction in the facility include CrossFit Aestus, Hit and Run, Inc., and Precision Golf Center. All three of those are nearing completion and have joined the Chamber of Commerce. Other proposed businesses for the Fuquay-Varina Sports Center include indoor basketball and volleyball courts, a bowling alley, indoor go-karts, and a sports bar, although none of these are official at this time.
And finally, the last commercial projects of note are in the downtown Fuquay retail district. The McWally Building on Fuquay Avenue is being renovated almost down to the bare walls. The former Enchanted Moments location will be transformed eventually into a mix of retail and restaurant space with a new roof, new AC units, and a brand new look on both the inside and outside of the building.
The other project that is nearing completion is Fainting Goat Brewing Company, which is upfitting the former Fuquay Gun and Gold building at 330 S. Main Street into a nanobrewery and is expected to open in early October. This project has been in progress for several months and we are awaiting it with much anticipation. This will make Fuquay-Varina home to FOUR microbreweries!
Last, but not least, are two residential developments that deserve some attention. Both multi-unit complexes, the Meridian at Broad Street Market and Wood Spring will bring affordable housing options to town for our younger families and single residents. Meridian will be located behind the Food Lion on Broad Street and will consist of 216 units (192 one- and two-bedroom apartments and 24 three-bedroom options). Wood Spring will be located on James Slaughter Road and will feature a single building with 24 one-bedroom units and 24 two-bedroom units for residents over the age of 55.
There are more exciting projects waiting in the wings, so check the next issue of Suburban Living Fuquay-Varina (due out in December) for another update! For more information about these or any other projects in Fuquay-Varina, you can call the Town’s Planning Department at (919) 552-1400.