Cary Community Plan 2-23-17 Part 2

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EASTERN CARY GATEWAY SPECIAL PLANNING AREA Eastern Cary Gateway Special Planning Area Eastern Cary Gateway The Eastern Cary Gateway serves as one of the main regional gateways into Cary and is accessed via two Interstate 40 interchanges located on the Town's eastern border. Nearly 50% of commuters entering and leaving Cary each day for work travel through this area. The Eastern Cary Gateway is an area of approximately 800 acres that includes a wide variety of uses that are generally fragmented and disconnected. Nearly one third, or 254 acres of the Eastern Cary Gateway, is currently undeveloped. This presents a significant opportunity for the Town to set a vision for the area that takes advantage of its loca on between Downtown Cary and Raleigh's western border, exis ng and future regional transporta on facili es, and land development poten al. This area is home to WakeMed Soccer Park, the Triangle Aqua c Center Campus, Cary Towne Center, Adams Elementary School, mul -family complexes, townhomes, mobile home parks, light industrial facili es, heavy commercial uses, the historic WPTF Transmi er and State Lab of Hygiene buildings, and telecommunica ons and natural gas u lity infrastructure. The Mobile Estates mobile home park of approximately 250 homes located in the NW quadrant of the planning area provides a sizable amount of affordable housing in Cary today, and may be redeveloped over the horizon of this plan to realize the vision for the area as a high-density transit-oriented development. Context Core Issues New Mixed Use Center: Focus on Employment With one of the last remaining large undeveloped sites near Interstate 40 (including a 90 acre state-owned parcel), exis ng and future access to transit, and close proximity to NC State University, the PNC Arena, Raleigh, and Downtown Cary, this area provides the Town with a key economic development opportunity to create a new high density Mixed Use Center with a focus on employment uses. When developing a modern employment center, it is important to provide a compe ve product. High quality firms are loca ng in areas where the development is physically compact, transit-accessible, and technically-wired, and that offer mixed use housing, office, recrea on, and retail uses together to provide a quality of life that can be marketed to employees. Opportunity for Future Transit Oriented Development and Better Connectivity Current development pa erns in this area are separated and fragmented, providing very li le connec vity between major developments. With the opportunity for regional transit to be provided at the northern edge of Eastern Cary Gateway, this area is a prime opportunity for transit-oriented development (TOD) pa erns that provide a mix of uses, improve the pedestrian realm, and enhance connec vity to be er serve bikers, walkers, transit riders, and vehicular traffic. Transit-oriented development capitalizes on regional transporta on facili es by strategically focusing the Town's most intense developments around regional transit. Revitalization of Cary Towne Center Cary Towne Center provides an opportunity to rethink the tradi onal suburban shopping mall design and create a more vibrant lifestyle center that mixes uses to support the future high density employment based Mixed Use Center to the north and surrounding area neighborhoods. Visual Experience of Gateway Corridors Eastern Cary Gateway includes three main east-west corridors that bring travelers into and out of Cary: Chapel Hill Road, East Chatham Street, and Cary Towne Boulevard. Chatham Street is an historic corridor that was once U.S. Highway 1, a route for na onal travelers passing through or coming to North Carolina. Other than posted signage, there is no visual cue from these corridors that travelers have entered Cary. Efforts have been made to buffer uses along these corridors to make the corridors more visually appealing, and more can be done. This area provides an opportunity for Cary to use the built environment, public art, and landscaping and open spaces to create an enhanced gateway experience and a sense of place that looks and feels more like Cary. 117

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