Neighbors concerned over proposed Wake Forest apartment complex

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WTVD) -- Wake Forest neighbors expressed concern about a proposed multifamily project on South Franklin Street after receiving a notice from the site developer.

"I don't think it's a benefit to our community," said David Garner, whose backyard borders the proposed site.

The notice, dated June 28 and sent by Site Collaborative, a Raleigh firm, reads:

The developer of the property shown on the reverse side is seeking a Conditional District Rezoning and Major site Plan to allow a +/- 188 unit multifamily project with an indoor recreation amenity and outdoor pool. The property is currently zoned RMX, residential mixed use and NB, neighborhood business. The proposed zoning is RMX-CD.

The site is close to Rogers Road, a busy stretch that includes two schools and several businesses.

"You go there around 3, it's miserable," Garner said.

He posted about the notice online, and said several neighbors shared his opinion.

"What's the impact of this apartment complex on the need for more police presence in the area? How's it going to be absorbed by the schools? How are we going to deal with the infrastructure problems? Just a simple how are we going to maintain the safety and security of the area ... and the kids walking home," said Melvin Hempstead, who lives across the street from the site.

Hempstead bought a home a few years ago in Holding Village and is concerned about the effect that apartments could have on property values. He said he would prefer to see houses be put on the property.

"That's a lot more absorbable. Then again -- what's the plan to turn South Franklin Street into a larger road that can support the traffic?" Hempstead asked.

Off-camera, a town official said the area is zoned 80 percent residential mixed use and 20 percent for neighborhood business. The rezoning request focuses on the 20 percent, which would include 32 units, an indoor recreation area and a pool.

The overall proposal also includes 380 parking spots.

Site Collaborative has submitted an initial traffic impact analysis, and the town is waiting on a revised version after it provided feedback.

On July 16th, Site Collaborative will meet with nearby property owners to answer questions about the proposed project from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Hope Lutheran Church on Rogers Road.

The apartments are set to be at market-rate.

A town official told ABC11 that they expect Site Collaborative to submit their final proposal in September or October. If approved, the project would be moved to the construction drawings and permitting phase, which takes three months. Construction would not begin until 2020 at the earliest.

ABC11 reached out to Site Collaborative, but has not yet heard back.
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