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Denver business owners reacting to news of possible Lowes Home Improvement

Business owners in eastern Lincoln County are reacting to recent word of another “big box” store coming to N.C. 73 near the N.C. 16 interchange.
Initially, some, like Marta Carlson with Paradise Gardens Garden Center, are concerned about Lowe’s Home Improvement locating a 139,000-square-foot store and retail complex.
“Lowe’s will initially affect my business,” said Carlson. “It’s the new kid on the block.”
Lauth Property Group of Charlotte submitted a rezoning application on Nov. 14, for a proposed 225,410-square-foot retail center on N.C. 73 that’s adjacent to the four-lane N.C. 16 that is currently under construction.
The retail complex will include the Lowe’s as well as 86,000-square feet of retail shops on 38.6 acres.
According to Randy Hawkins, zoning administrator with Lincoln County, the proposed Lowe’s will be located across the street from the recently approved Wal-Mart Supercenter.
In the Nov. 15 Lincoln Times-News article, “Lowe’s Home Improvement to east Lincoln?” Hawkins said he doesn’t expect opposition to Lowe’s to equal that of the proposed Wal-Mart.
“I wouldn’t think you’d have as much opposition,” he said. “Wal-Mart brought a number of other issues.”
As of the original article, the zoning office hasn’t received any calls about the proposal.
Greg Coffey headed up a group responsible for attaching numerous conditions to Wal-Mart’s approval.
As of last Tuesday, he couldn’t comment on whether or not the same group would attach conditions to the future Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Denver.
Denver Area Business Association President Andrew Johnson said he’s not surprised about the announcement of a Lowe’s coming to Denver.
“We feel it’s a natural evolution of the area with the approval of Wal-Mart,” he said.
Denver Allstate insurance agent Joe DiPento said it’s important for Denver to be able to “keep pace” with all of the new development.
“Big stores coming to Denver mean big money isn’t going out of Lincoln County,” he said. “Denver must get the benefit of infrastructure and quality of life improvements to keep pace.”
Other business owners aren’t voicing their feelings on the proposed Lowe’s, a stark contrast from when the Wal-Mart project was announced.
Joe Turbyfill, owner of Turbyfill True Value Hardware on N.C. 16, wasn’t concerned about a new Wal-Mart Supercenter coming to Denver.
“I’ve already made my money,” he said in an earlier LTN article. “My main business is the rental business.”
When asked, however, about the proposed Lowe’s, Turbyfill clammed up.
“I don’t want to comment right now,” he said.
A public hearing is scheduled on the issue for Monday, Dec. 5. At that time, the planning board will consider the issue and will bring the proposal back to the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners on Dec. 19.
by Jon Mayhew

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