Cary Towne Center may get whole new life besides IKEA

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A new lease on life in the works for Cary Towne Center.

Shoppers still buzzing about IKEA coming to Cary Towne Center are now learning the entire mall could be getting a makeover, potentially bringing residential and office space along with premier retail, restaurants, and entertainment.

The under-performing shopping center has been the focus of revitalization efforts for months; just last week, revealing popular Swedish furniture store IKEA will be moving into the space formerly home to Sears.

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On Monday, property owner CBL & Associates Properties revealed it's seeking rezoning approval to transform the rest of the mall into mixed-use development.

"The whole idea of mixed use is something new for us," said Barry Mitsch, Chairman of the Cary Chamber of Commerce. "We're up for anything. It'll be interesting to see the plans, to see how they evolve."

RELATED: IKEA announces potential Cary store

IKEA, which is also awaiting approval from town leaders, is slated to move in by summer of 2020.

CBL refers to the development project as Phase 2, with a timeline contingent on who the tenants will be.

Mitsch said CBL's plans are in step with the town's goals of breathing new life back into the high-demand area.

Shoppers are eager to see the changes that aim to make Cary Towne Center a destination.

"A high-end shopping center," said Robert Goode of what he would like to see come out of the revitalization project. "A lot of times, people from this area, they go to Crabtree Mall, they go to other areas. And we believe that the money could stay here in the Cary town area."

CBL is asking town staff to complete a traffic impact analysis along with its rezoning.

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