07/17/06 — Developer buys site

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Developer buys site

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on July 17, 2006 1:48 PM

A shopping center is coming soon to the old Nichols property on Wayne Memorial Drive, but details of the new development are still a mystery.

The developer, 1st Carolina Properties, also created Berkeley Commons.

A spokesman for the company said the firm is not ready to make an announcement about what it plans to do, but confirmed 1st Carolina has closed on the property and is working with several potential anchor tenants.

Connell Radcliff of 1st Carolina said the location has possibilities, even if it is a bit run down now.

"The site is highly regarded in the tenant community as a well-located property with great potential," he said. "I know that it is a bit of an eyesore right now, but we are hopeful that before long we can begin work on what we expect will be an attractive shopping center with desirable tenants."

Goldsboro Planning Director Randy Guthrie said the preliminary plan shows three anchor shops, one 56,000 square feet, another 20,000 square feet and the third 15,000 square feet. A smaller shop of a little more than 5,000 square feet is connected to the smaller anchor. The anchors are in the rear nearest U.S. 70. On the north side of the shopping center is a row of several smaller shops.

Outparcels, or lots that are not connected to the actual mall area that a developer might sell to another entity, are also available on the site, Guthrie said.

Two existing driveways lead into the shopping center, and there is a third access from Lockhaven Drive behind the Walgreens store that faces Wayne Memorial Drive.

It is a busy traffic area, Guthrie said, but added he believes the plan for the new development will work. The ultimate OK will come from the state Department of Transportation when it reviews the proposed driveway connections.

"This is unique in that the driveways already exist," Guthrie said.

The driveways once led to the back of the parking lot where Nichols Department Store stood for years. After the store closed almost 20 years ago, the building was used for a while by the Goldsboro Flea Market. Another building located on the same property close to Wayne Memorial Drive was once a Winn-Dixie and later a hardware store.