Cary breaks ground for 'pedestrian-friendly' Publix

Thursday, July 20, 2017
Publix groundbreaking held in Cary
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A Publix groundbreaking was held in Cary on Thursday.

CARY, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Peggy Lewter's farm had been in her family for 150 years. But the property taxes alone on the 22 acres made it easier to say "yes" when developers came looking to buy.

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"There comes a time when you have to let go," Lewter said.

Now, the property will be part of Amberly Village, a new shopping complex that will showcase a Publix supermarket.

On Thursday, officials held a groundbreaking, though work to clear the land has already begun.

It was just last week when a nearby Harris Teeter announced it was shutting down in mid-September. But Sempler Development is confident the growing Cary market will support another grocery store.

"West Cary is growing rapidly with residential growth and is really underserved from a grocery standpoint," said Josh Beyer, of Sempler.

The project was originally met with opposition from some residents, but the development team said that through a community dialogue, they've been able to win over some opponents with a "pedestrian-friendly" design.

"We've got a main street with wide sidewalks and public gathering areas that will allow people to congregate," Beyer said.

As for the Lewter family, it will take some adjusting.

"It's a big change," said Grover Lewter, who said he and his wife, Peggy, "grew up in this community."

The Lewters said they plan to be back here when the Publix opens.