A $500 million mixed-use development with up to 50,000 square feet of commercial space is coming to southern Chapel Hill.
Beechwood Carolinas, a New York-based developer, is advancing plans for South Creek across from Southern Community Park after the Chapel Hill Town Council unanimously approved a rezoning earlier this month. The 815-home development at 4511 S. Columbia St. will also have between 21,000 and 52,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.
Beechwood Carolinas Principal Steven Dubb said South Creek is fully funded through The Beechwood Organization, which Beechwood Carolinas is a division of, without outside equity or capital partners. The company might secure a construction loan in the future, but it doesn’t need one yet.
There will be 120 apartments, 606 condominiums and 89 townhomes. The apartments and condos will be a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units while the townhomes will have two, three and four bedrooms. Both the apartments and condos will be in 5-story buildings over covered parking and some retail. The townhomes will be two stories with garages.
The apartments will range from 525 to 2,725 square feet and be for rent. Dubb said the units will be market rate. The condos will have the same square footage range as the apartments but will be for sale. The townhomes will be 1,600 to 2,900 square feet and also be for sale. Dubb said the pricing will start in the $300,000s and push close to the million-dollar range.
Part of the rezoning came with a condition that 15 percent of the for-sale units and 10 percent of the apartments must be affordable. All the affordable units must be split in half at 65 percent of the area’s median income and 80 percent of AMI. Residential amenities include a swimming pool, splash pads, fitness center, game rooms, communal workspaces, podcasting studios and outdoor gathering spaces. One of the outdoor spaces will be an open lawn for events and entertainment while a larger outdoor green space will be for events like food truck rodeos, farmers markets and festivals. There will also be public art and EV charging stations.
The commercial and retail portion will be uses that complement the community like food and beverage retailers, services, office and medical office. Dubb said the company isn’t looking to bring in a grocer though as Weaver Street Market is across the street in Southern Village. With a big range of potential commercial space, the company is looking to hit the upper end of that square footage.
“[Looking to bring] The types of tenants that our owners and renters would consider to be an amenity to the community and who can support living in the community and not necessarily having to get in your car to go do everything,” Dubb said. “Based on the input from the town that we’ve gotten and what we know from doing projects like this in the past, the more quality retail we can build, the better the project is. We are hoping to maximize that [commercial space].”
Originally the company was anticipating breaking ground in late 2024 but Dubb said it is aiming for starting in mid 2024 with first occupants moving in 2025. The entire development is a multi-year, multi-phase project that will take between four to eight years to complete.
The previous zoning allowed for a former development proposed on the site, Obey Creek by East West Partners. Obey Creek was more commercial heavy and took several revisions to get approved. With the change in the market, East West Partners decided to forego the project.
The Beechwood Organization acquired 103-acres for $7.25 million in 2021 from East West Partners with 43 of them slated for the South Creek development. This is the company’s first development in the Triangle. The company recently launched Beechwood Carolinas, which will focus on residential development in the Carolinas.