The plaza is already home to an operating Ingles store, but it hasn’t been upgraded in quite some time. The plaza has a few other tenants but has suffered a loss of visitor traffic since Walmart moved from the location several years ago.
A public hearing was held during the town council’s Sept. 8 meeting and the board unanimously approved the plan. No one signed up to offer public comment regarding the proposed project.
Town Planner Justin Setser said the planning board had recommended approval of the special permit request to redevelop the shopping center to include a new grocery store building, an iMarket, gas station, car wash and other retailers.
The request includes demolishing the existing 135,133-square-foot shopping center and adding back 179,153 square feet, which is larger than the 30,000 square feet allowed as part of the C-3 commercial zoning district.
The special permit request required a neighborhood compatibility meeting, which Setser said was attended by five people after he sent out 24 letters to adjacent property owners. He said no one made suggestions to change anything about the site plan during that meeting.
Preston Kendall, representing Ingles Markets during the public hearing, showed the site plan to the town council and went over the specifics of the project, which comes on the heels of a brand-new Ingles complex on Georgia Road.
“We started this process at the end of last year, but with COVID, everything went to a halt so we had some tenants lined up — and still do — we’ve just pushed it off a little bit,” he said.
The new Ingles store will be situated where the former Walmart was located, and according to Preston, four other big box retailers will be joining the plaza. The development will also include two sections of retail space for smaller businesses.
“We’re changing the whole parking lot and changing the stormwater runoff (plan) and the next thing is working with DOT on the red light,” Preston said. “DOT is on furlough so it’s taking longer to work through.”
He said DOT would be conducting a traffic study before directing Ingles on any egress and igress changes they need to make with the project. The site already has two access points off Hyatt Road, which will remain, but Preston said the project proposes a third entry point off Hyatt plus an additional single lane in-bound access point from U.S. 441.
“But whatever they (DOT) say to do is what we’ll do,” he said.
Mayor Bob Scott said he was concerned about water runoff from such a large project.
Town Engineer Nat Moore said the site plan included more landscaping and islands throughout the proposed 584 parking spaces to cut down on runoff, but with a project this large, it won’t make much of a difference. However, he said the retention pond on the property hadn’t been working properly and would be repaired as well as nearly doubled in size, which will make a big difference.
The town’s Unified Development ordinance requires 1,026 spaces but after Ingles submitted data to show that many spaces weren’t needed, staff accepted the reduced amount.
Similar to the new Ingles on Georgia Road, the Holly Springs development would include 5 gas pumps and an iMarket as well as a car wash. The Ingles would have a drive-thru pharmacy, Starbucks, Chopsticks and Cafe.
A council member asked if the current Ingles would be able to remain open during the redevelopment project , but Preston said he wasn’t sure yet whether that would happen or not.