Raleigh-based developer proposes 225-acre, mixed-use site for Garner near White Oak

15 April 2022

— Live, work and play: That’s the idea behind a proposed 225-acre, mixed-use development planned for an already busy area of Garner.

Raleigh real estate veteran Grady Matthews and his new company, Wycliff Development, are the developers of the land owned by the Yeargan family. They are planning to call the area the E District. It is located just off the U.S. Highway 70 exit from Interstate 40, near the existing White Oak shopping center.

“This is a rare opportunity to develop one of the last remaining sites of its size and significance in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country,” Matthews said in a news release. “We are currently in the exploratory phase and carefully evaluating the highest and best uses that will add value to Wake County.

“We have begun conversations with the town of Garner and are committed to bringing a high-quality, mixed-use district to the region that celebrates wellness, innovation and connection.”

In January 2022, Matthews founded Wycliff Development with E District being his primary focus. The site would include retail shops, restaurants, hotels and housing.

“We are excited about the opportunities that this project will bring to Garner,” Town of Garner Economic Development Director Joe Stallings said in the release. “With [more than] 200-plus acres in one of the most desirable areas in the nation, this site is unlike any other in North Carolina.

“We are fortunate to be working with a visionary development company like Wycliff Development and look forward to helping bring a transformational project that will provide jobs, tax base and new opportunities to our community.”

It’s unclear how soon the Garner Town Council could consider Matthews and Wycliff Development’s proposal.

What people in Garner think of the proposed development

WRAL News spoke with people in Garner about their thoughts of the proposed project.

Garner native Blake Bullock recalled what the town was like growing up.

“When I was a kid, there [was] nothing out here,” he said.

Bullock figured that it’s inevitable the E District will come to fruition.

“It’s coming whether you want it or not,” Bullock said. “I figure with all the people moving in, it’ll create some jobs.”

Wanda Worrell was shopping Friday in Garner and expressed her worry about the effects on traffic.

“It’s going to be more congested,” Worrell said.

Worrell has since moved to Clayton.

“We’re going to have to be more patient,” she said. “It’s part of the growth process, though.”

Garner native Kimberly Ennis said the town used to be “nothing but woods and old back country roads.” She is opposed to the project.

“I’ve been here my entire life, and it’s already big enough,” Ennis said.

Work, play and live community aims to attract people to Chatham County

Proposed Louisburg development

In the coming months, the Louisburg Town Council is expected to consider the largest development proposal in the history of Franklin County.

On Thursday night, the Louisburg Planning Board approved a rezoning request for the proposed Louisburg Falls at the Intersection of U.S. 401 and Fox Park Road.

“It’s going to be, I think, one of the higher end, nicest devleopments that Franklin County has ever seen,” said Louisburg Town Administrator Jonathan Franklin.

If the proposal is approved, Franklin said it would be an estimated $115 million investment. Louisburg Falls would open by 2031 if developers receive town approval.

The proposal calls for housing, office space, a hotel, a medical clinic, industrial space, warehouse space, retail space and restaurants. There going to be about 250 townhomes and apartments, according to Franklin.

Franklin said the site is expected to create 250-500 jobs depending on how the commercial spaces develop.

“We see Louisburg Falls as kind of a key component in developing the gateway into Louisburg,” Franklin said.

Proposed Louisburg Falls development. Illustrative plan courtesy of the town of Louisburg.


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