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Marketplace Mall withdraws request for United Health entrance

Marketplace Mall withdraws request for United Health entrance
December 07
06:00 2017

Marketplace Mall withdrew a zoning request Monday night for a second entrance that would’ve led directly to United Health Centers, with the possibility of bringing it back at a later date.

The matter was heard during Monday night’s Winston-Salem City Council meeting, and was withdrawn when South City Council Member John Larson said he wouldn’t support the measure after hearing objections from area residents.

“I actually have had a great deal of correspondence with the neighbors up in Washington Park, individually and as a group, and they have expressed a great deal of concern over this particular proposal,” said Larson.

Marketplace Mall currently has one entrance on Peters Creek Parkway. United Health Centers opened a 15,000 square foot medical facility in the back corner of the mall’s south side. Though it now has a sign on the front facade of the mall, its location isn’t visible until patients drive around the mall’s parking lot. The proposal would’ve rezoned .65 acres for a second mall entrance off Salisbury Ridge Road that would’ve gone to United Health.

Daniel Kleeburg, who became mall manager last October, said the entrance was part of an effort to elevate the mall. He said part of that effort was leasing spaces at Marketplace to United Health, Antique Mall and to Old Salem Bakery, which will open there next year. He said the mall’s longtime owner is making major investments in the property, including repainting it.

“He’s done everything he can to bring this mall up,” said Kleeburg, who’s managed Marketplace Cinemas, located in the mall’s parking lot, for 15 years.

Kleeburg said the new entrance would make United Health and the rest of the mall more accessible.

Larson said neighbors were concerned that this new entrance would create a cut though for motorists on Silas Creek using Buchanan Street, Salisbury Ridge and the mall’s parking lot to get to Peters Creek Parkway while avoiding traffic signals. Larson was also concerned about having commercial zoning so close to the neighborhood there.

City Council Member Jeff MacIntosh, who owns a lot in the area, said he was also concerned with the shortcut the new entrance might create, especially after Business 40 closes for renovations. He was also concerned about stormwater, since the entrance would replace a kudzu covered hill with pavement. 

Council Member Robert Clark said he’d never heard of anyone using a mall parking lot as a shortcut, and the bigger concern should be the economic health of the mall.

“You do not want this place going dark,” said Clark.

Other council members sided with the neighbors, but also praised Kleeburg for his efforts to revitalize the mall. Some even said they frequented the mall, like Mayor Pro Temper Vivian who shops at the Dollar Tree there and Council Member Dan Besse who patronizes Hamrick’s and the cinema. Several council members said that some of the concerns could be alleviated by a site plan and traffic study.

Kleeburg said it was his first time doing this and he was unaware of the neighbors’ concerns. There were 118 letters sent out to residents within 500 feet of the zoning change and only two attended the neighborhood meeting Marketplace held on the issue. There was also no opposition at the planning board meeting, where the matter passed unanimously.

Burke and others suggested he withdraw the proposal so he could resubmit after he’s addressed the concerns about the project, which Kleeburg agreed to do. If it had been voted down, the same rezoning wouldn’t have been able to come back for two years and a different one wouldn’t have been able to come back for a year.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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