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Changes in Cary: $1B Fenton Development

When the news of Cary Towne Centre’s sale to Epic Games was announced in 2020, long-time Triangle residents were shocked. The mall, first opened in 1979, was a shopping staple for the area.

Epic Games’ announcement of their plan to raze the existing mall and build Fenton, a brand new, $1 billion “global headquarters campus” was met with mixed reviews by the public, but retail, entertainment, and dining businesses perked up at the opportunity. Cary is quickly becoming one of the more expensive places to live in the Triangle, as well as one of the most desirable, so Fenton’s planned 357 luxury rental homes are a great opportunity for Cary’s renters to live in the center of it all.

Though 80% of Fenton’s space has been pre-leased, according to Hines, the development company managing the new 69-acre mixed use space, there have been a few notable changes to the original list of commercial tenants coming to East Cary.

Just this week, anchor tenant Wegman’s announced they would no longer be opening a store in the Fenton development. According to a representative from the New York-based company, this decision was made due to the performance of other stores in the area.

“Online shopping has grown tremendously, fueled in part by Covid-19, enabling us to serve customers in a much greater radius than was originally projected,” Wegmans spokeswoman Laura Camera said. “This has allowed us to plan our growth differently than we have in the past. As a result, we have decided not to move forward with the proposed Cary location.”

A replacement grocery tenant to anchor the area has not yet been announced.

The other big shift for the development comes from their movie theatre tenant. Cinebistro, who filed for bankruptcy in 2020, has been replaced by Paragon Theatres. Developer Hines describes Paragon Theatres as an innovator of “new standards for moviegoers that have never been available in the Cary market, including ‘pod’-style seating, an Extreme Theatre, and an outdoor screen. The pod-style seating, configured as loveseats or singles, is akin to luxurious first-class flight suites…Customers will be able to order freshly prepared food and beverages directly from their phones for in-seat dining.”

Hines is also currently talking with prospective third-party hotel developers to fill out the rest of the planned hospitality amenities at Fenton.

While the first phase of this project will encompass approximately 1,000,000 square feet, the total planned space for Cary’s newest destination will total around 2,500,000 square feet. Fenton is one of several enormous mixed-use developments planned for Cary, a clear reflection of the Town’s goals following the COVID-19 pandemic. Cary residents want high-quality amenities close to home with great shopping and dining experiences, and Fenton is going to deliver.

While most spaces in Fenton are already spoken for, there are similar mixed-use developments coming soon to Cary, some as large as 4,000,000 square feet. If your business is ready to grow with Cary, you’re ready to call Kima Commercial and start your property search with expert guidance. Peter, Mehdi, and Paul are always ready to serve you and your business.

+1 919 336 1700

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