Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Apex development and construction news

The Town of Apex publishes a newsletter occasionally called Changing Times. It covers new stores and businesses under development in town zoning areas, changes to roads and other items of interest. It's a good document that reviews what's happening around the town but unfortunately the town is a bit slow to publish new releases on a regular basis. Read the latest issue...

There's also a nice development map that shows current zoning and development locations under consideration. When you click on the link and view the PDF map you will need to zoom in to see details of a given area, then click on a number link to pull up a detailed map of that area. You can move around and find most sites currently planned or in development.

If you go to the Apex website you can also find news about town activities, board of commissioners meetings, zoning activities, building guidelines, etc.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Apex main street starts to grow

Downtown Apex is moving into the modern age. A plan has been put forth to take down an old downtown building and build a four story "high rise" building right in the middle of downtown. While this has been resisted in the past, if the town Board of Commissioners approve this plan it could let the town actually start expanding and move into the modern age with new architecture.

Last year town officials hosted a meeting at the town hall showing how planners wanted to keep the downtown area looking as it was since the town began many years ago - all building must keep the look and feel of the old style buildings and any construction should be planned to let structures follow the style of the old downtown appearance. Most likely the new building would conform to this idea but would offer more flexible use incorporating newer mixed-use planning.

The following February 19, 2007, article from the News and Observer describes a plan to replace one of the old buildings with a modern structure offering first floor store condos, second floor office condos and loft style residential condos on the top two floors...

News and Observer
February 19, 2007
Jack Hagel, Staff Writer

The big-building bug has come to Apex. Local entrepreneur Steve Adams says he wants to tear down a wilting two-story at 123 N. Salem St. to make way for "downtown Apex's first skyscraper."

Sure, this cloud-picker won't rival the height of the 32-story RBC Plaza being built in downtown Raleigh. It won't even climb as high as the parking deck of the 42-story Soleil Center planned next to Crabtree Valley Mall.

But at four stories, it will tower over most other buildings in the center of Apex, a western Wake town.

Preliminary plans call for a 13,548-square-foot building with seven underground parking spaces; four ground-floor retail condos ranging from 650 square feet to 950 square feet; and 3,600 square feet of office condos on the second floor.

The top two floors would consist of six two-story, loft-style residential condominiums starting in the low $200,000s.

And because of Apex's high elevation (hence the name) -- and because of the town's lack of tall buildings -- some of the the residences will feature views of Jordan Lake miles in the distance, Adams says.

It's the latest sign of renewal in the 134-year-old railroad town. There were 28,551 people living in Apex in 2005 -- almost a sixfold increase from 1990, according to census estimates. And the growth has awakened downtown Apex.

"It's not like it's just a series of antique shops, like it used to be, where you go in and see someone else's junk," Adams says. "There's some really cool, unique retail here.

"It's almost like another Glenwood South, when you consider the potential."

As Raleigh's entertainment district did years ago, Apex's downtown has sprouted art galleries, restaurants and bakeries -- even a day spa -- during the past year.

Adams himself has been part of the upswing.

In August 2005, he converted an old hardware store at 126 N. Salem St. into the Peak City Grill & Bar. He also carved offices out of the top floor.

Adams still needs town approval to start his new project. He hopes to begin building by June and to wrap up a year later.

If his $1.5 million plan is a success, he'll make a lot. But he may not have the distinction of the tallest building in the town that bills itself as "the peak of good living."

The proof is just one block over, Adams explains. The Baptist church is probably taller -- "if you count the very tip-top of the steeple."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Apex Historical Society - visit the site

For a glimpse into the past of the town of Apex, NC, check out the Apex Historical Society. It's the local organization that provides a look into how the town was in years past and offers occasional public lectures about various topics relating to the people, events and historic structures around town.

The society has restored the Maynard-Pearson House (pictured at left) and uses it for its meetings and public tours on Olive Chapel Road west of town. A calendar of events is posted on the website listing dates of events and meetings.

The historical society has regular events, many open to the public - see calendar on website for details. Special tours can be arranged by contacting board members.
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