After 13 years of land acquisition and planning, Preston Development is about to unleash Pittsboro’s “800-pound gorilla” known as Chatham Park. Preston Development is known locally for their high-end residential communities of Preston and the Prestonwood Country Club, MacGregor West, Wessex, Weston Estates, Camden Forest, Magnolia Woods and Stanton Place.
Chatham Park is a 7,000+ acre technological Live-Work-Play community bounded by the Haw River on the North and East, Highway 15-501 and the town of Pittsboro (pop. 5,000) on the West, and Rte. 1 and Sanford to the South. Think of it as a more integrated and “suburb-urb” version of Cary combined with RTP.
The theme is integration and harmony of work, home, and social life. Clusters of multi-use structures offer the convenience of residential living (22,000 homes) in close proximity to retail, restaurants and other amenities. The development will be broken up into four or five villages that are made up of neighborhoods. A new bridge over US Hwy 64 Bypass connects the North Village Phases now under construction.
Thale’s Academy, a K-12 private school emphasizing strong character in its students, and with campuses in Raleigh and Apex, is now under construction. Swimming pools and fitness facilities will also be in the mix. Green features include Smart-meters (for electrical-use monitoring), purple pipe for recycled water, car charging stations, and park-like open spaces. Build-out is planned over the next 12-14 years.
The Vineyard is the first residential area of North Village beginning sometime in 2018 with approximately 650 single-family detached homes and townhomes. Among those first offerings will be 25 traditional single-family homes with prices starting at $375,000, along with 31 cottages (850– 1,250 square feet) starting at $225,000. To date, only the cottages have been officially approved by Pittsboro for construction and builders have yet to be designated. This enclave of homes comprises the heart of the Park, and is walkable to downtown Pittsboro. (See Map)
Eco Group, a joint venture of John Fugo of Montgomery and Kirk Bradley of Lee-Moore Capital Company, is developing MOSAIC, the commercial phase of Chatham Park. The master plan for MOSAIC will encompass an $800 million, 350-acre mixed-use development featuring restaurants, grocery store plus other retailers, banks, a movie theater and a 120-room Hampton Inn.
It will also have 320 apartments, 120 of which will be for residents 55 and older. Construction will take about 3 years for this commercial phase. Fritsch Milling and Sizing, a German tech/manufacturing company, has chosen Chatham Park as the home of their new United States office and represents the first technology business to commit to the Park.
Preston has already constructed a 25,000-ft. office building on Grant Street, housing several tenants, including Chatham Park, R. B. Fitch, MHAworks Architecture, and WithersRavenel Engineering. UNC Heatlhcare has also constructed a building near the northern entrance to the Community in cooperation with Chatham Hospital and UNC Hospice.
Penguin Place, developed by Ron Strom of Chapel Hill, will open soon near the intersection of Hwy 15-501 and Hwy 64 Bypass, across from the entrance to Northwood High School. Penguin Place consists of over 14,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, including The Root Cellar Restaurant’s second location.
Some Chatham County residents say they are still worried about all the changes happening around them, including the effects on water, open space and traffic. A group called Pittsboro Matters raised about $100,000 to sue the town of Pittsboro over Chatham Park, but a judge dismissed the case. Elaine Chiosso, Haw Riverkeeper, and member of the Haw River Assembly, is still sharing her concerns about the loss of thousands of acres of forested land. “It’s an enormous impact on the Haw River and Jordan Lake to have a new city built on the watershed and this close to the Haw River and Jordan Lake.” (Kay Trogdon – N&O – 7/17)
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