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Columbia, SC, Developer Proposes Restaurant/Retail in Lowe’s Parking Lot, Requests UDO Exemption

By Jesse Wood

Feb. 19, 2013. At a Town of Boone Community Appearance Commission meeting on Thursday, Feb. 21, Columbia Development Group, LLC, will request a review of a section in the town’s Unified Development Ordinance, according to an agenda packet of the meeting.

town-of-boone-logo2In the Lowe’s Home Improvement parking lot, Columbia Development is proposing to construct a 6,200-square-foot building – 4,000 square feet of which will be retail space and 2,200 square feet for a restaurant – with the primary façade and main building entry facing towards Lowe’s.

UDO Section 393 “requires the primary façade and main building entry shall face the primary public way.” Columbia Development is proposing the building to face opposite of U.S. 321.

However, the Community Appearance Commission may approve an exemption if:

  • The main building entrance, when not facing the primary public way, shall provide a safe and convenient access for pedestrians from the main building entrance to the primary public way. The pedestrian way must provide additional landscape amenities.
  • Entrances which are oriented on a diagonal, are permitted, provided that they are integrated with the overall design, and not merely angled appendages or alcoves
  • Ground floor windows or window displays shall be provided along at least ten percent of the building’s (ground floor) street-facing elevation(s); windows and display boxes shall be integral to the building design and not mounted to an exterior wall. Parapets above the first floor are excluded from the calculation when the building is over 80 feet in length.

The building is 50 feet deep with 124 feet parallel with U.S. 321 on a .71-acre parcel. Also, 42 parking spaces are outlined in the conceptual site plan.

A spokesman with Columbia Development declined to comment as to what restaurant and retail company will fill the space.

A map of the proposed building shows that a QSR (Quick Service Restaurant?) will be housed in the restaurant space.

Columbia Development is based in South Carolina. Its website states that in the past 40 years Columbia Development has “successfully completed retail, medical and residential projects valued in excess of $500 million” throughout the Southeast.

Also, according to the company’s webpage, “Columbia Development is a repeat developer for many industry-leading retailers … Our portfolio of clients includes Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Mattress Firm, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, USAA, U.S. Cellular, Petco, Michaels, GameStop, and Five Guys Burgers and Fries.”

The building’s location is behind Burger King, adjacent to Winkler Creek, on the opposite corner of where the Holiday Inn Express exists. 

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday on the first floor of the Watauga County Administration Building on 814 West King Street in downtown Boone.

What restaurant and retail outlet would you like to see housed in the Lowe’s parking lot?