By Jesse Wood
The Waterfront Group, owner of The Lodges at Eagles Nest, is celebrating the grand opening of the Eagles Nest Marketplace, formerly known as the Sunrise Shopping Center, on Oct. 20 from 3 to 7 p.m.
The Eagles Nest Marketplace is located at the base of Beech Mountain Parkway, just on the outskirts of downtown Banner Elk. This shopping center used to house establishments like Zuzda before the Waterfront Group began renovations to the 20,000-square-foot facility.
The celebration will feature a ribbon cutting, live music from Stella and samples from the Bodegas Kitchen and Wine Bar, which will officially open in mid-November. Big Dawg radio out of Morganton will be on hand for remote live radio.
The ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m. will be highlighted by comments from U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, N.C. Sen. Deanna Ballard, N.C. Rep. Josh Dobson and Avery County Commissioner Blake Vance.
Eagles Nest Realty is currently the other tenant in the shopping center, so folks attending the celebration can also learn about new offerings at The Lodges at Eagles Nest, a 1,700-acre gated community with a diverse portfolio of properties along the Elk River and mile-high ridgelines, along dancing meadows and amidst the Appalachian forest.
Heather Bender of Eagles Nest Realty said there are plans for Eagle Wood Design, a furniture builder affiliated with the Lodges at Eagles Nest to open in the lower half of the shopping center. Also, a proprietor is looking into opening a restaurant in the renovated space where Zuzda operated, however there is no current set concept and opening date.
“We are currently seeking additional tenants to fill the available spaces. We are trying to be more selective of what we put in there to make sure we are putting in businesses that are going to benefit the community of Banner Elk and offer something that the town doesn’t have already. If anyone is interested in leasing a space they can contact me to discuss those opportunities there,” Bender wrote in an email.
The renovations at the Eagles Nest Marketplace were estimated at roughly $1 million.
The Waterfront Group purchased The Lodges at Eagles Nest in foreclosure several years ago and invested millions of dollars resurrecting the gated community. Since purchasing the floundering development, Eagles Nest has grown from 60 property owners to more than 330 property owners.
Sales at Eagles Nest in 2016 represented more than half of all development growth in Avery County. It was also reportedly the fastest-growing, fastest-selling second-home community in the state.
For more information about the The Lodges at Eagles Nest, click here.
Workers adding finishing touches to the Marketplace parking lot on Tuesday afternoon.