CH@T: 2022 shaping up to be a breakout year for development at Chatham Park

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Chatham Park’s growth only slowed slightly at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Now, as 2022 moves into high gear, we checked in this week with Vanessa Jenkins, who oversees the sales and marketing for all of Preston Development Company’s communities, which includes Chatham Park.

As executive vice president, Jenkins serves as the liaison between builders, neighborhoods, sales teams and the marketing implementation for Preston’s communities. She has a MIRM (Master in Residential Marketing) designation, a National Association of Home Builders’ distinction, and has been a licensed North Carolina Realtor since 2011.

She joined Preston in 1991. In 2017, she was the president of the Raleigh-Wake County Home Builders Association and continues to serve on its board of directors, as well as the board of the Durham, Orange, Chapel Hill Home Builders Association.

Let’s start with an overview. Now that Pittsboro’s town board has approved the final additional elements, what’s in store for Chatham Park this year?

After 16 years, 2022 will be a breakout year for Chatham Park. So many things are happening right now.

How about housing — what’s in place now, and how will things look by the end of this year?

At Vineyards at Chatham Park, located off Chatham Parkway and Thompson Street, we’re underway with 11 builders (Prewitt Custom Homes, Upton & Co., Upright Builders, Walker Design Build, Wagoner Homes, David Weekley Homes, Garman Homes, Homes By Dickerson, Lennar, TriPointe Homes) building nine types of homes. They range from townhomes starting in the $300,000s to custom homes starting in the $800,000s and everything in between.

We also have Tessera at Mosaic, a condominiums complex under construction at Mosaic, and homesites will be available this year for a David Weekley Encore neighborhood, a 55+ community.

This range of offering is the start of what homes will look like in Chatham Park. As each new area opens, new housing product will be designed for livability and to complement the area. We are quite excited to finally have a wide range of home choice for our buyers.

You made a presentation to the county’s school board recently, outlining the land use plan for CP’s North Village and South Village. The presentation included projections for single family homes, apartments and senior living residences going out to the year 2035. Can you outline what’s in those projections and how you and Chatham Park Investors are feeling about the timeline?

The presentation you saw was geared toward how we provide housing projections to the school system. Chatham County Schools’ consultant, ORED, has a specific format for how we present future housing in order to fit into their modeling system to predict students based on a lot type and size — meaning, we breakout the number of lots by lot sizes and the specific time frame for delivery. The matrix also indicates if the lots are single family detached, multifamily or age restricted.

This is a process we have been engaged with the consultant for about four years, and we update the numbers approximately every six months for the school system to have a good idea of when the students will be arriving.

The most current projection only indicated age-restricted lots in the South Village, but we did indicate to the school board that our next update will begin to show lots in the South Village.

We also noted for the board that Thales Academy is opening its Chatham Park Campus K-5 on April 11. When built out, the school will be K-12 and have enrollment space for approximately 1,350 students. Private and charter schools certainly effect how the Chatham County School System prepares as well.

Aside from housing, what else is under construction now in Chatham Park and Mosaic?

As you know Mosaic — the front door to Chatham Park — and Northwood Landing are well underway, and Mosaic is opening new spaces now. Here are some highlights:

• April will be a busy month for new starts as it is anticipated that construction for both the 121 Hampton Inn and the Lowe’s Foods grocery store will be started at Mosaic and Northwood Landing respectively.

• Construction on the large mixed-use building is well underway with an anticipated completion date in January of 2023. This building includes 79 Degree West, Mosaic’s Innovation Hub and Co-Working + Warehousing space, as well as 11 luxury condos. In addition, we anticipate that anchor tenant, Hops & Berries, will be open directly across from the entertainment commons.

• The Guild, Mosaic’s first 165 rental units, will be ready for occupancy starting late October.

• By July, Mosaic will have four restaurants open and operating — including Jersey Mike’s Subs, Greek Kouzina, People’s Coffee and O’Ya Cantina. Many more will join over the next year or so.

• In June, work will start on a new 8,500-square-foot retail building that will be anchored by Town Hall Burger & Beer. In addition, there are lots of new medical and dental services planned to start construction this year. We’ll announce more details in the second quarter of 2022.

• Northwood Landing will be joined by more small shop retail, a Zaxby’s restaurant and a full-service car wash as well as 312 garden apartments — with construction starting as permits are issued June through October of this year and completion in late 2022 through summer 2023.

• Mosaic’s existing commitment to public art will get several big boosts through 2022 with the next installment including a mural of three students’ artwork from Northwood and Jordan-Matthews — and many more additions as buildings are completed in 2022.

• Lastly, get ready for more entertainment and activities with a robust schedule of concerts, movies and pop-up markets on Mosaic’s Entertainment Commons from June through October. We’ll post schedules on our social media platforms and our website (chathampark.com).

In addition, the Chatham Park information center in Mosaic is open Saturdays and Sundays; more days will be added as we go into summer.

Paddles, a new swim and pickleball amenity, will open Memorial Day. The facility will offer memberships to anyone to join, so living in Chatham Park will not be a requirement!

Planning is underway with an estimated groundbreaking in June to start construction on the North Village Town Center featuring homes, commercial buildings a second park, and a YMCA. And there’s lots more: the Water Recovery Center is now open and processing wastewater; educational displays are being finalized and installed to offer tours explaining the unique functionality of the plant to school groups, civic groups, etc. And we have begun a bee program for Chatham Park with the first installation at the Wastewater Recovery Center (the second installation will be at Mosaic in April of this year). With the required native plant landscapes and a cultivated bee program, CP can contribute to the bee population sustainability.

Chatham Park continues to build on its art program with each new opening, and the Chatham Park Commerce Center will be located along Eubanks Road at U.S. Bus. Hwy. 64. Plans are underway for construction to begin this summer with construction of multi-tenant flex/industrial buildings.

Anything new in Chatham Park’s near-term or long-range plans?

Planning continues for Pulte’s Del Webb community on Pittsboro Moncure Road next to the South Village. And with the approval of our Affordable Housing Element last fall, we have begun work on plans to start integrating affordable housing into overall Chatham Park housing plan.

We hope to have a few more announcements soon.

As we emerge from the Omicron surge and head into spring, how’s the reception from commercial and residential interests who’ve made inquiries about CP?

The inquiries and interest are more than ever! Businesses are wanting to expand and open new space. We cannot provide homesites fast enough to fill the housing demand that is occurring due to many factors, COVID being just one among them. Our area is growing rapidly due to the job announcements, the economy, and overall consumer desire to live in areas with more open space, trails and parks — all amenity investments being integrated into Chatham Park.

Regarding Chatham Park Way — can you comment on the DOT road alignment status?

On Monday, March 14, representatives with the DOT attended the town of Pittsboro’s board of commissioners meeting to present findings of a new study to relocate Chatham Park Way to an alternate route (Route 8) as requested by the town. After reviewing the study the DOT selected Alternative 6, their preferred alignment and asked for the town’s concurrence, the reasons being that Alternate 6 had slightly less environmental impact and significantly less cost.

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