Cameron Village could soon expand

September 9, 2008 8:47:00 AM PDT
The area around Raleigh's popular Cameron Village Shopping Center could soon get a lot more residents and a lot taller.

Developers are hoping to build a mixed-use project at the intersection of Oberlin Road and Clark Avenue.

But if history's any indication, there could be quite a bit of controversy before any ground even gets broken on a new proposed project.

Development along Oberlin Road is no stranger to controversy.

Another project at Oberlin Road and Wade Avenue was the subject of intense debate years ago. Oberlin Court is a shell of what the initial, proposed Coker Towers was to look like.

Now, a new project is being discussed this time even closer to Cameron Village at the intersection of Oberlin Road and Clark Avenue. Buildings could range in height from 5 to 9 stories.

"They're proposing nearly 300 units residential, 28,000 feet of retail," City Council Member, Russ Stephenson said.

And in an effort to inform residents of their plans, developers have already held several meetings in the area, long before the project clears any hurdles to getting approved.

Community Leader Bill Padgett, who remembers well the battle over Coker Towers, is appreciative.

"This is a pretty major redevelopment, pretty critical for our area, north of the University, and bringing that to the public, getting as much public input as you possibly can is exactly the way it should proceed," Padgett said. "There will be questions about height and how that height is broken up and accommodated into the Cameron Village site; there will be questions I'm sure about traffic."

"People are concerned about whether this development will set a precedent for more, similar intensity up and down Oberlin Road and in Cameron Village as a whole," City Council Member, Russ Stephenson said.

But on the whole, city leaders say they are expecting most to find the idea of extra height and hundreds of residents a welcome addition.

The project is in its very early stages.

Developers have to get the land they want to build on rezoned before even moving forward.

There will be a public hearing on that issue in mid-July.


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