Leland eying large residential, retail growth in 2017

Leland eying large residential, retail growth in 2017
(Source: WECT)

LELAND, NC (WECT) - Leland's growth over the past few years is no secret. The economic development department said the residential areas are growing at a rate of seven to eight percent per year.

"First you have to have the rooftops and the density, then the commercial and retail activities follow and that's what's happening now," said Gary Vidmar, the town's Director of Economic Development.

Construction for an ALDI grocery store is set to start once the required road improvements are complete. The grocery store will sit between Ocean Gate Plaza Drive and Ploof Road off Highway 17.

But the grocery store isn't the only project that will sit in that 63-acre plot. A mix of offices, retail, restaurants, entertainment and civic areas are expected to be built over the span of three years.

"This is by far and away the largest commercial project that has been undertaken in many many years so we are very excited," said Vidmar. "It's a high-profile location right along highway 17 in the newer part of our town, so I think all of our residents are also very excited and I know they will be excited when they see some of the names announced by the developer."

Vidmar said he is sworn to secrecy and can't give away the names of the retailers that developers are in talks with but said "big-box" stores are a must.

"When I first moved here two years ago the same names kept coming up," said Vidmar. "The Targets, the Dick's, the home goods, the Chic-Fil-As, folks like that, that people wanted to see here. I think this is the first time that folks will be able to see reality finally surfacing."

The Harrington Village project is also expected to see new developments in 2017. Vidmar said the developers are expected to break ground on the first building any day now. The 13-building complex will include 300 luxury apartments and 30,000 square feet of retail/commercial space.

"Hopefully we can attract the millennials and the young professionals that we don't currently attract," said Vidmar. "We want to be more than just a retirement community."

WECT's Connor DelPrete will show you site plans for the Harrington Village and the plot of land that could bring big-box stores and a movie theater to Leland in this evening's newscasts.

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