New construction to begin on Pittsboro residential projects

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PITTSBORO — New construction is set for two residential projects in Pittsboro — each with its own niche.

Construction began this month on The Retreat, a 48-unit affordable housing complex on Chatham Business Drive, just off East Street in Pittsboro. The $7 million project was originally presented by Third Wave, a Winston-Salem company that focuses on public, private and corporate partnerships to create affordable housing properties, last year. The company has already worked on a similar project in Siler City at the former Henry Siler School which will have 44 units, the first of which should be available in the next several months.

The Retreat in Pittsboro will include three buildings — two for residences and the other for a clubhouse. The complex will host nine one-bedroom apartments with the remaining dwellings being two-bedrooms.

When the project was first approved, “affordable housing” was one of the conditions. Third Wave owner Richard Angino said the project has already qualified for low-income tax credits for “workforce housing.” This means that resident incomes will be limited to 60 percent of the area median income — a family of three could have an income up to $45,840 or one individual at $35,640 based on current levels.

According to the 2017 Chatham County Affordable Rental Housing Report and Strategy Toolbox, compiled by the Triangle J Council of Governments, there are “not enough” rental units for low-income households — an estimate of 1,404 of those households, compared to just 335 affordable rental units. Additionally, just 16 percent of available rental units were classified as one-bedroom or studios, compared to 39 percent of renter households that were made up of just one person.

“There is a huge shortfall of apartments in the Pittsboro market,” Angino said. “The community reached out to us to help create some additional units and we have jumped in to make this happen. It is a learning situation for the city, county and local community since talking about having affordable housing is different than building affordable housing that people can move into in the near future.”

A second property, a 92-acre tract located south of Northwood Drive on U.S. Hwy. 15-501, is slated to be a mixed-use development called Northwood Landing. The first phase of the project, which includes eight parcels, will follow a “traditional” commercial style, according to Kirk Bradley, one of the project’s developers. There will be a grocery store and other retail spaces including five free-standing buildings. Additional phases will include an apartment complex, office space and a hotel.

Bradley, who is also developing Mosaic at Chatham Park across the street from the development — and a partner in Chatham Media Group, the owner of the News + Record — calls the two projects “complimentary.”

“This project has certain uses that do not lend themselves to a ‘Mosaic,’ which is more a lifestyle entertainment project,” Bradley said. “This one is a more traditional layout to accommodate big box stores.”

Improvements to U.S. Hwy. 15-501 at and around Northwood Drive have been geared to accommodate safe travel for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles along the corridor. Bradley hopes the grading of the entire site will begin soon after the fourth of July, a process he believes will take about a year to complete. The goal is to have the entire site developed in three years, according to Bradley.

Casey Mann can be reached at


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