Business owners in eastern Lincoln County are reacting to recent word of another â€œbig boxâ€ 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 Loweâ€™s Home Improvement locating a 139,000-square-foot store and retail complex.
â€œLoweâ€™s will initially affect my business,â€ said Carlson. â€œItâ€™s the new kid on the block.â€
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 thatâ€™s adjacent to the four-lane N.C. 16 that is currently under construction.
The retail complex will include the Loweâ€™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 Loweâ€™s will be located across the street from the recently approved Wal-Mart Supercenter.
In the Nov. 15 Lincoln Times-News article, â€œLoweâ€™s Home Improvement to east Lincoln?â€ Hawkins said he doesnâ€™t expect opposition to Loweâ€™s to equal that of the proposed Wal-Mart.
â€œI wouldnâ€™t think youâ€™d have as much opposition,â€ he said. â€œWal-Mart brought a number of other issues.â€
As of the original article, the zoning office hasnâ€™t received any calls about the proposal.
Greg Coffey headed up a group responsible for attaching numerous conditions to Wal-Martâ€™s approval.
As of last Tuesday, he couldnâ€™t comment on whether or not the same group would attach conditions to the future Loweâ€™s Home Improvement store in Denver.
Denver Area Business Association President Andrew Johnson said heâ€™s not surprised about the announcement of a Loweâ€™s coming to Denver.
â€œWe feel itâ€™s a natural evolution of the area with the approval of Wal-Mart,â€ he said.
Denver Allstate insurance agent Joe DiPento said itâ€™s important for Denver to be able to â€œkeep paceâ€ with all of the new development.
â€œBig stores coming to Denver mean big money isnâ€™t going out of Lincoln County,â€ he said. â€œDenver must get the benefit of infrastructure and quality of life improvements to keep pace.â€
Other business owners arenâ€™t voicing their feelings on the proposed Loweâ€™s, a stark contrast from when the Wal-Mart project was announced.
Joe Turbyfill, owner of Turbyfill True Value Hardware on N.C. 16, wasnâ€™t concerned about a new Wal-Mart Supercenter coming to Denver.
â€œIâ€™ve already made my money,â€ he said in an earlier LTN article. â€œMy main business is the rental business.â€
When asked, however, about the proposed Loweâ€™s, Turbyfill clammed up.
â€œI donâ€™t want to comment right now,â€ 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