The Town Planning Board yesterday considered site plans for a 24,000-square-foot, “off-price” Marshalls department store to be built in the Marketplace at Southern Shores next door to the CVS Pharmacy.
The plans, submitted by “Southern Shores Owner, LLC,” which is represented by developer Ashton Properties of Charlotte, call for the demolition of all buildings to the west of CVS—up to and including the space rented by Coastal Rehab—and the redevelopment and reconfiguration of the parking area.
According to a project narrative by Ashton Properties, which has owned the Marketplace since 2014, the redevelopment would demolish 19,775 square feet of existing shops and “reconfigure” about two acres of existing parking lot, adding 27 new parking spaces.
Next to the Marshalls, Ashton’s Vice President of Construction and Development, L. Karen Partee, told the Planning Board at its regular meeting yesterday, the developer also would construct at the same time a 6,000-square-foot retail outlet.
The smaller shop does not yet have a lessee, Ms. Partee said, but Ashton has a “national soft goods retailer” in mind for the space.
Ms. Partee also said that Ashton would help Coastal Rehab to relocate.
At 24,000 square feet, the proposed Marshalls is considered a “junior box” store, according to Southern Shores Owner, LLC’s application to the Town for building permits and a site plan review.
Marshalls “mega” stores, which were once more commonly known as “big box” stores, also exist. The descriptor of “off-price” is now favored over “discount” by commercial developers and retail store owners.
According to Internet sources, Marshalls, which is owned by TJX Companies—the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Home Goods—has more than 1,000 stores in the United States and 61 stores in Canada. The U.S. stores are reportedly in 42 states and Puerto Rico.
There are three Marshalls stores in the Hampton Roads area, including one in Chesapeake.
There are five Marshalls stores in North Carolina, the closest one to the Outer Banks being in Wilson.
The off-price department store sells clothing, shoes, cosmetics, jewelry, and an assortment of home products, including bedding and some furniture, according to the Marshalls and TJX Companies websites.
According to Ms. Partee, the Marshalls project is “phase one of trying to get the center where it needs to be.” Ashton intends to do a “good bit of redevelopment,” she told the Planning Board, to “upgrade” and “right-size” the Marketplace, which has “far too many” small shops, many of which are currently vacant.
If the Town and Ashton come to terms on the project, demolition could start as early as the end of this year, Ms. Partee told The Beacon after the meeting.
She projected a tentative opening date for the Marshalls store of spring 2023.
Ashton’s plans must be reviewed first by the Planning Board, which either recommends them or not, before the Town Council considers them for approval.
The Board expressed concerns yesterday about increased stormwater runoff into the canal behind the Marketplace caused by the construction, which will increase ground coverage by roughly 10,000 square feet.
Board member Robert McClendon said he would like “to see some infiltration system before water goes into the canal.”
Board member Ed Lawler agreed, saying “We shouldn’t be straight-piping any water straight into the canal.”
“Straight-piping”–into the same pipes that were installed in 1987 when the Marketplace was built–is what is currently occurring with stormwater runoff around the shopping center.
Ms. Partee said that Ashton has not integrated a new stormwater-runoff treatment plan into its project, but it is looking at using permeable surface in the parking area.
“If stormwater changes get put on top of this project,” she said, “it could cripple it.”
In response to a Board question about the appearance of the Marshalls department store and the adjacent 6,000-square-foot shop, Ms. Partee said that the developer would not try to “match up” the new facades with existing building facades. She said the single-story structures would most resemble the appearance of Food Lion.
Ashton will make a full presentation about its Marketplace redevelopment plan at the Planning Board’s Aug. 16 meeting.
OVERHAUL OF TOWN ORDINANCES ON SOLID WASTE
In other business last evening, Vice Chairperson Tony DiBernardo announced that the Planning Board had been given the go-ahead by the Town Council, before whom he appeared on July 6, to revise and bring up to date the Town Code chapter on solid waste, which was enacted in 1988.
Mr. DiBernardo addressed in particular revising Town Code Chapter 26 so that it addresses problems that have arisen with trash and recycling receptacles, many of them caused by confusion and neglect among renters at vacation homes.
Just trying to figure out which receptacle at a rental home is for trash and which is for recycling can be a challenge for renters, because of the many different colors of the cans.
Among the concerns Mr. DiBernardo highlighted yesterday are:
- Placing and removing receptacles from the right-of-way in an appropriate and timely fashion (The current Town ordinance specifies that receptacles “should,” not shall, be moved out of the right-of-way within 24 hours after collection.);
- Maintaining a sufficient number of receptacles at vacation rental homes, based on occupancy;
- Ensuring that recycling and trash items put out for pickup are not overflowing and creating litter; and
- Educating people about which items are recyclable and which are not.
The Beacon applauds this initiative, which will involve the Planning Board, the Public Works department, other Town staff, and perhaps members of the public.
We daresay no one living in Southern Shores likes to see litter strewn on the side of the road; to encounter toppled receptacles in the roadway; and to experience other eyesores and hazards caused by misuse or neglect of trash and recycling receptacles.
During the seven years that we have been regularly attending Town Council meetings, we have heard numerous homeowners complain about the receptacles. We are glad someone is finally taking action.
2021-22 OFFICER ELECTION: The Planning Board unanimously reelected Andy Ward as its chairperson and Mr. DiBernardo as its vice chairperson. Planning Board officers serve one-year terms, which coincide with the fiscal year.
Other members of the five-person board, which also serves as the Town Board of Adjustment, include Lynda Burek, Robert McClendon, and Ed Lawler. Jan Collins is the Board’s first alternate.
There has been a vacancy for the position of second alternate for months. If you would like to apply for this voluntary position, please see:
The term of office for the second alternate is from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024.
Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 7/20/21