'It's not simple': Developer reimagines Cary's South Hills Mall in preliminary plan

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Thursday, April 20, 2023
Developer reimagines Carys South Hills Mall in preliminary plan
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Loden Properties is reimagining Cary's oldest shopping center as a multi-use development, starting with a sports complex and special events district.

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- September will mark 10 years since Baker's Dozen Donut Shop has been in business in Cary's South Hills Mall & Plaza.

"It's exactly the same way as it was 10 years ago," E. Reth said.

But for Reth, things could look a whole lot different in a few years with Loden Properties reimagining Cary's oldest shopping center as a multi-use development, starting with a sports complex that Henry Ward, a partner at Loden, said will anchor the project.

"The goal is to create a vibrant sports and special events district," Ward said. "It's going to have an urban feel, similar to many downtowns in the area. We're highly pedestrian focused."

Loden's rezoning application includes a request to build up to 1,775 apartment units as well as new office and retail space, which concerns business owners like Reth, who is worried about having to relocate.

"Definitely, I have all the support but just to find a place, set up a new place, it's not simple," Reth said.

However, current leases will be honored although they're still in the planning phase of redevelopment, which could take a couple of years, according to Ward.

"Our goal is to work with our current retailers as we work to create a vibrant community in South Hills, and local businesses are going to be an integral part of that strategy," Ward said.

Although the shopping center won't change immediately, shoppers like Michelle Little hope that it remains a mainstay.

"I'm good with change and some things, but some things, leave it alone," she said. "I think these buildings need to stay because it speaks life of Cary and the history and it means a lot to a lot of people."