New York developer eyes Chapel Hill for 128-acre mixed-use community



A New York-based developer is making its entrance into the Triangle with a big mixed-use development in Chapel Hill.

Earlier this month, The Beechwood Organization out of Long Island began talks with the Town of Chapel Hill for a project called South Creek. The development calls for hundreds of new units geared toward senior living and workforce housing, plus retail and plenty of open space.

The project is situated on around 128 acres across from Southern Village off of Highway 501 south of downtown Chapel Hill. Beechwood presented its initial plans for the project to the Town Council’s Committee on Economic Sustainability earlier this month.

The company recently launched its presence in North Carolina with an office in Charlotte. Beechwood brought on 35-year North Carolina real estate veteran Robert Kardos as regional president of the Carolinas.

“Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to work with many homebuyers across the Carolinas, and I look forward to introducing Beechwood’s unique housing product to my community,” Kardos said in a statement. “These two rezoning proposals aim to enhance the quality of life for both existing residents and those looking to relocate, and I am excited to get started.”

As currently envisioned, Beechwood plans around 350 units, largely for residents 55 and older as well as workforce housing. Plans also call for retail space and around 85 acres for a nature preserve complete with walking trails and other natural amenities. The units would include a mix of townhomes, condos and duplexes

Plans are subject to change during the design and approval process.

Before submitting any rezoning requests, Kardos said, the company plans to work extensively with the town and community stakeholders to bring a proposal that best aligns with the communities vision for the area.

“It is our first in the Triangle. That’s why we are reaching out to the community to navigate those waters,” Kardos said. “We don’t want to come in with a preconceived notion of what the product mix or design should be. We want to get feedback from the local leaders and groups.”

He said the company would like to file a rezoning request for the property this fall, but that will depend on how comfortable they are that the plan lines up with the community’s vision.

Beechwood currently plans for all the units to be for-sale and is targeting the “missing middle” price range, with around half of the units starting below $500,000, Kardos said.

Pricing estimates have been difficult for builders during the past year as construction costs continue to skyrocket and fierce competition for homes has seen buyers going well above asking price.

The Chapel Hill project is one of two Beechwood has in the works in North Carolina, with the other, called Ferncliff, proposed in Charlotte earlier this year.

The company is partnering with architects 505Design on both projects.

Beechwood’s entry into North Carolina comes as demand for housing across the state continues to climb.

“Our homebuyers may be buying their first family home or moving up to a luxury estate, empty nesters looking to ‘rightsize’ or urban dwellers who value easy access to transportation and services,” said Steven Dubb, principal, The Beechwood Organization.

“The Carolinas provides these buyers with the seasonal temperatures and a location not too far from home, while our range of housing types provides the lifestyle and function needed to enjoy everyday life.”