Subdivision proposed for Pembroke

First Posted: 8/6/2013

PEMBROKE — A representative of a Charlotte architectural firm told the Pembroke Town Council on Monday of plans for a subdivision in town that would include up to 650 residences, several businesses, a movie theater and a lake.

Todd Meckley, president of Entasis Design, presented a master plan of the Hunter’s Run subdivision, which would be located on 140 acres of land on Candy Park Road near True Value Hardware, about two miles outside of town.

Meckley said the unofficial plan includes 100 to 150 townhouses, 250 to 350 apartments, 150 senior-focused cottages, a man-made lake and several commercial buildings, including a movie theater, restaurants, shops and a gas station. Meckley said the neighborhood may also include a 60- to 100-bed assisted living facility and office space.

Meckley said the subdivision’s location, various housing options and businesses could attract all kinds of residents, ranging from college students to the elderly.

“We feel like it’s something that’s really going to work in this community,” he said.

Meckley said the land has been purchased and that he “would love to break ground this fall,” but first needs the town to annex the land and approve a conditional-use permit.

“Obviously we can’t do anything without the community,” he said.

When a Pembroke resident asked whether or not living in the subdivision would be economically feasible for residents of a poor county, Meckley said living costs would be market-driven.

“We can’t develop something that the market can’t support,” he said.

Mayor Milton R. Hunt called the subdivision plan “an impressive program.”

“You took my breath away from me tonight. That’s not easily done,” Hunt said.

In other business, representatives of Lumbee Enterprise Development, a for-profit subsidiary of the nonprofit Lumbee Regional Development Association, proposed the construction of a 5.1-megawatt solar farm in Pembroke.

James Hardin, executive director of the LRDA, said the farm would be located on 28 acres of land near Railroad Street, would be “Lumbee-owned” and would require a conditional-use zoning permit and a $12 million to $15 million investment.

Hardin said building would bring jobs to the community.

Brad Harris, director of Business Development for Lumbee Enterprise Development, said Fairmont and Rowland have successful solar farms.

Jack Lowry, also of Lumbee Enterprise Development, said that unlike other solar farms, this one would keep all profits in Pembroke.

“[Usually] as soon as the farm is turned on and the jobs stop, the money does leave the community, and that’s what we’re trying to stop,” he said.

In other business:

— The 7- and 8-year-old Dixie Youth baseball team received McDonald’s gift cards from coach Kelvin Strickland and Councilman Ryan Sampson for winning the league’s AA Region I Tournament in Tennessee. The coach-pitched team was one of four baseball teams and two softball teams from Pembroke to attend the tournament.

— Former Junior Miss Lumbee Ciena Fedor presented council members with a plaque thanking them for supporting her during her reign last year.

— Police Chief Grant Florita said in his report that “there is a moderate level of crime going on right now,” including a stabbing during Lumbee Homecoming last month. Grant said police brought 118 charges during July, including three felonies and four DWIs. Grant also said sales of golf cart permits during Lumbee Homecoming brought the town $9,000.

— Loretta Smith, chair of the ABC Committee, said that the Pembroke ABC store “outsold stores that have been open for years and years” during July. She said the store has received and paid for six shipments of alcohol and that she hopes business will pick up when The University of North Carolina at Pembroke starts the school year in August.