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DigitalSky

Mixed use in Harrisburg

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When I was little and my family lived in that part of the state, I attended elementary school across NC49 at Harrisburg Elementary. It was a very old school--I mean OLD. It was also very big and at one time it housed all grades but when I attended it was K-6... two stories, hardwood floors, radiators, leaded paint, asbestos ceilings... hahaha great stuff!

Anyway they tore it down a while back and have since built a Lowes Food and CVS there. The shopping center is called "Schoolhouse Commons".

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I actually live in the Harrisburg TownCenter complex. I was really surprised at the diversity of residents here...especially those with kids. The commercial part of the development is not as pronounced as the residential....but with the widening of Highway 49 scheduled to wrap up this year, I think that the commerical end will be taking off.

In terms of the residential component, it is still growing...this is strickly a townhouse and condo community. There are no single family homes.

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I work very close to this project but I haven't been over there to see it in probably a year or so. Do you have any picture (or can you take some) of the community for us to see?

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i'm glad to see that they are trying to create an identity outside of nc49. It is hard, i guess, for towns when their mainstreet turns into a ugly commercial highway. this will be a positive change.

I'm sure their alterior motives are to become the eastern satellite town/city for charlotte. that market niche hasn't been taken yet. They may have their eyes on annexing that whole section of cabarrus when 485 starts leaking over there.

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I work very close to this project but I haven't been over there to see it in probably a year or so.  Do you have any picture (or can you take some) of the community for us to see?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I WILL TRY TO GET SOME RECENT PHOTOS OF THE COMPLEX VERY SOON.

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I WILL TRY TO GET SOME RECENT PHOTOS OF THE COMPLEX VERY SOON.

I look forward to it!

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Has anyone heard about the possibility of a Super Walmart being built in Harrisburg off of Highway 49? I know there is talk about a Super Target coming to Kannapolis Parkway and I-85?

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where would they put it? They are already putting a Food Lion on one corner, and the Y is on the opposite corner... I had heard the super target was going a little farther down the street, more near hwy 29/Kannapolis hwy interchange...

I have been looking at the places in Harrisburg for a while, I thought about renting a unit and if I like it, buying one.

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Ok...I know were that is? I was informed by an co-worker that land was being cleared behind the restaurant. So is it just a Walmart or will it be a shopping center??

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another super wal mart or super target? R & R Barbecue is on Pitts School Rd near the intersection of 85/poplar tent, it's not near the new Kannapolis Parkway.

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Yes I know were that restaurant is at. At Pitts School Road and Poplar Tent. The R & R in Harrisburg is on University City Boulevard (Highway 49). This is the location that I was told were a new Super Walmart is being built.

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The medical center in Harrisburg is much welcomed as the closest facility is the one at University. I live very close to the Harrisburg Town Center but I'm not a huge fan. There is a lot of openness with large parcels of parking lots and I've seen several vacant buildings where retailers/restaurants have moved out.

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Does anyone have anymore information as to a Super Walmart coming to this area? If so, is there a link to that announcement?

Perhaps I'm missing something but where was an announcement that a Super Wal-Mart was coming to the Harrisburg Town Center? I have a hard time believing something like that would pass, especially when a Super Wal-Mart exist near the 601/29 intersection which is really not all that far from the Harrisburg Town Center.

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I haven't seen anything about Wal-Mart coming to Harrisburg Town Center, and haven't even heard anything about Wal-Mart coming to Harrisburg in a while. I know there was a proposal to build a Wal-Mart and Lowe's back behind Sonic, Pizza Hut, and R&R BBQ, near the intersection of 49 and Caldwell Road, but that got shot down. Since then, residents of the town were surveyed to see what kind of retail they wanted -- most of them said no big box stores. The top five businesses residents said they didn't want were Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Home Depot, Target, and Sam's Club. Wal-Mart was the only one that a majority of people answered that they didn't want, with 72% saying they didn't want it in Harrisburg. The rest of the top five had 25-44% of residents saying they didn't want those particular businesses. Interestingly, Lowe's was number one on the list of businesses people want, with Wal-Mart number three. Outback, Target, and Kohl's made up the rest of the top five. For anyone interested, the survey can be viewed at http://www.ui.uncc.edu/images/AdminPDF-Fil...ey%20Report.pdf.

The survey also included a summary of what types of businesses people wanted, and whether they'd shop at particular types of businesses if they opened, regardless of residents' opinions of them being built. Most of the results were pretty close. For instance, 69% of people said they wanted small card & gift shops such as Hallmark, and 70% said they would shop at one if it was built. That's a difference of only one percent. The largest gaps came with fast-food restaurants and big-box retailers. Only 51% wanted more fast food restaurants, but 62% (an 11% difference) said they'd eat at one if it was built. For discount apparel/department stores such as Old Navy and Kohl's, 47% said they wanted one and 59% (a 12% difference) said they'd shop at one. For large discount retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart, 40% of people surveyed said they want one built, but 55% (a 15% difference) said they'd shop at one if it was built. For large home improvement stores such as Lowe's and Home Depot, 42% said they wanted one and 58% (a 16% difference) said they'd shop at one. With that one, I think more than 58% would shop there, even with the opposition that the Lowe's/Wal-Mart proposal had. According to the survey, only 20% of residents surveyed do any home improvement shopping in Harrisburg, with only seven percent doing all of that shopping there. Meanwhile, 65% of residents do at least some home improvement shopping in Mecklenburg County, with 42% shopping there exclusively.

That will likely change in the not-too-distant future. The Planning and Zoning Board voted -- unanimously -- to approve a project including a 110,000-square foot Lowe's across Highway 49 from Harrisburg Town Center, not long after the Town Council approved regulations that virtually ban big-box stores in Harrisburg. According to the charlotte.com article, the project is also supposed to include a Walgreen's and a branch of the YMCA. It sounds like it's maybe supposed to be similar to the Wal-Mart off Wilkinson Boulevard since the developer said the buildings will be designed to look like separate buildings in a town square. The planning board suggested that while residents want smaller retail stores, big-box stores could help draw them. To an extent, I agree. The retail portion of Harrisburg Town Center seems to be struggling a bit. As Neo pointed out, there are quite a few open parcels. They've started filling in the interior road network a bit more, so perhaps some of the parcels will be developed a bit quicker now, though the only thing built recently is a Taco Bell with a drive-through. It's the third drive-through restaurant to be part of the project, along with McDonald's and Zaxby's. And while I eat fast food quite a bit, I'm not sure that drive-through restaurants say "town center." There are a few cafes and other sit-down restaurants, as well as a few other businesses, but overall there's not much there. Several tenants have moved out, and Lowe's may take out another. There's a hardware store there (appropriately called Town Center Hardware), which is where I'd assume the 20% of people that ever shop for home improvement goods in Harrisburg shop. It'll be interesting to see how well they can compete with a Lowe's right across the street.

While I worry that some businesses like Town Center Hardware might be forced to close if much big-box retail is brought to Harrisburg, I also don't see small shops surviving without something to keep people in the town. With one of every big-box store (except K-Mart) only a few miles away in University City, plus a nearby Super Wal-Mart off 29 in Concord and SuperTarget in Kannapolis, it's tough for Harrisburg to compete for people's retail dollars. Of course, I also think Harrisburg Town Center might continue to struggle if they keep approving more and more development around it instead of in it. There's a Bloom and Lowe's Foods nearby, as well as a CVS and Eckerd, and now there's a Walgreen's coming too. And while all of these are very close, none of them are within the development itself. Bloom is the only one of those stores that I know of that's been there since before they started building Harrisburg Town Center. I'm pretty sure the rest have been approved since it was started, though I could be wrong. Of the rest of those stores, CVS is the only one that doesn't require you to cross 49 to get to it (though it does require you to cross Roberta Road). I think it would've been beneficial to include one of the drug stores in the Harrisburg Town Center project instead of all three being across the street. I also think it would've made a lot of sense to include a Bank of America branch in the development, seeing as the closest one is at Harris and Tryon. There are Wachovia, SunTrust, and First Charter branches in Harrisburg already, as well as a Bank of the Carolinas in Harrisburg Town Center. There's also a Bank of North Carolina that's supposed to be coming soon. That's the location that I think would have made sense as a BofA branch (for the record, I have a Wachovia account, so I'm not personally interested in whether they build a BofA; I just think it makes sense to build one). Finally, I think they should have included one of the grocery stores. Bloom is in a really ugly shopping center with the post office ... right in front of Harrisburg Town Center. To me, it would've made sense (though maybe financially it didn't) to get rid of that shopping center and reincorporate its tenants into Harrisburg Town Center, particularly Bloom and the post office. That would seem a little more "town center" than Taco Bell.

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This is way, way late.

I take that survey with a grain of salt. There were a lot of classist, bordering on disgusting comments said by residents of Harrisburg in that survey. They talk like they live in Cary, but I have news for them.

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