Mebane Oaks Road’s busy commercial corridor is getting busier by one more restaurant and corporate location, as Signature Flooring and Wings to Go will soon be taking up residence in a new locale that was approved earlier this month by the Mebane City Council.
The elected board unanimously approved a proposal to rezone 1.85 acres at 1410 Mebane Oaks Road, across the street from Walmart and the Garrett Crossing Shopping Center, from R-20 to B-2 (general business) by Signature Flooring, Inc. Signature Flooring submitted to City officials a Special Use request for a Planned Multiple Occupancy Group at that particular site.
According to Mebane Planning Director Cy Stober, the applicant qualifies for the small-lot exemption for a property under two acres with the site plan provided, which dedicates significant amounts of right-of-way to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) for road expansion, sidewalks, and bicycle access to be provided to the property.
NCDOT has deemed Mebane Oaks Road a “major thoroughfare” with its average daily traffic of approximately 26,000 vehicles. The roadway is set for a significant series of upgrades in the coming years, and this new Signature Flooring/Wings to Go project will help kick-start some of those renovations.
“One of the issues we’ve talked about a lot on this is public safety,” said Richard Ringler, a Civil Engineer from Greensboro who represented Signature Flooring with its request before the City Council. “The DOT, they actually have a project plan right in front of this one to do some road widening along Mebane Oaks Road. As part of the negotiations and discussions with DOT, they raised the concern about getting access into the site. So we looked into the option of seeing if there was some way we could modify the existing plans, that would increase the safety of this (project).”
“Basically what we were directed to do (by the DOT) was create enough space that we could have a dedicated left-turn pocket to protect the turning vehicles into the site,” Ringler explained. “So we went back and took the Department of Transportation’s plan, looked at how it could be to accommodate that left-turn lane, sent it off for the DOT to review. They have approved a left-turn lane that goes into the driveway. We have a 100-foot turn lane, which will accommodate at least five vehicles turning into there at any one time. There is also a taper lane that allows vehicles to reduce speed as they come into that turning lane.”
In addition to the extra turning lanes, Signature Flooring agreed to add some additional underground storage piping, which will reduce runoff from the site. The buffering requirements for the business property are intended to separate this building and similarly-zoned properties from surrounding residentially-owned properties.
“Because the site is less than two acres, there are additional buffer requirements for the site. On the three sides that go around the perimeter, not adjacent to Mebane Oaks Road, there will be semi-opaque buffers consisting of trees and shrubs,” Ringler said.
The location is to the immediate north of Mebane Oaks Road’s intersection with Bowman Road and Old Hillsborough Road, just to the north of the Mebane Fire Department Station 3, on the east side of Mebane Oaks Road. The location is currently vacant, within Mebane’s B-4 secondary growth area, which is dedicated for commercial properties that serve residential needs.
Signature Flooring has been approved to construct an approximately 11,900 square foot building that according to code, will be two separate buildings. But the structures will adjoin one another. Approximately 3,300 square feet is designated for the Wings to Go restaurant, while the remaining space is projected to be Signature Flooring’s headquarters, including its showroom and corporate offices.
Architect John Plageman of Burlington’s Plageman Architecture went into specifics in regards to the design features and functionality of the new facility.
“Signature Flooring purchased the land, which is vacant, for the purpose of putting their new headquarters there,” Plageman said. “We also looked at the idea of putting in a restaurant, so that put us into Special Use requirements. Our charge from our client was to design something that was unique and different, that fit into the surrounding area.”
The Signature Flooring segment will include warehouse space along with the proposed showroom and office space.
“They (the two buildings) are connected together,” Plageman explained.
When the site to the north of this new commercial development is eventually developed, the sewer line being implemented for Signature Flooring/Wings to Go will be set up where it can be easily connected to it. Water lines already exist on the western side of Mebane Oaks Road.
Plageman indicated that the developers have had conversations with nearby neighboring landowners, Roger Shields and Jeff Mebane, and they are in approval of the project.
“Both of them (Shields and Mebane) have expressed favor in the project. They’re looking forward to it,” Plageman said. “We believe it fits the growth pattern on Mebane Oaks Road, in the fact that retail is moving down the road.”
Signature Flooring has agreed to dedicate approximately 15 percent more parking spaces on the new development than what is required as a minimum for commercial developments of this size. Commercial developments are not allowed to go over 20 percent beyond the minimum, per the City’s Uniform Development Ordinance (UDO).
“We looked through the parking requirements that are outlined in your Zoning Ordinance,” Ringler told the elected officials. “Applying those factors to the retail sales (for Signature Flooring), as well as the occupancy load for the (Wings to Go) restaurant, we came up with a certain number of stalls that will be required. We actually added some additional stalls, because the client requested it.”
Once the North Carolina Department of Transportation has completed its roadwork and street improvements along Mebane Oaks Road, final landscaping and buffering will be installed. The same goes for the development’s sidewalks, which cannot be constructed until the DOT’s work has concluded. The same type of scenario happened with Mebane’s recently-constructed Cook Out restaurant, and is currently taking place at the new Chick-fil-A that is being constructed nearby.