BR council still looking for hotel developer

Published 12:10 am Thursday, November 28, 2019

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By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

It’s been a little more than a year since the Town of Bermuda Run decided to move forward in engaging the Development Finance Initiative to identify potential development partners for a boutique or upscale hotel, but despite some early interest, there have been no official proposals.

Town Manager Lee Rollins said that the idea has not gone away, but there may need to be a tweak in the concept.

“We would still love to see something come,” Rollins said. “We still have the plan and a lot of the base materials, but at this point the market is not quite there. We hope the new (Comet Bermuda Run) apartments bringing activity may drive some potential for retail. From what we’ve heard, it can’t just be a hotel, it’s got to be a hotel plus some retail, plus some office.”

The town entered into an agreement early in 2018 with DFI, which partners with local governments to attract private investment for transformative projects by providing specialized finance and development options, to explore the possibilities of a hotel project on a three-acre tract adjacent to the WinMock barn.

DFI is a subsidiary of the UNC School of Government. Officials for DFI stated at the time that the objectives for the project included recruiting a hotel to accommodate visitors to the WinMock Event Center, the BB&T Sports Park and other area tourist destinations, anchoring the development of a town center that will serve both tourists and residents, and minimizing public investment and maximizing private investment.

Rollins said that the town had eight conversations about the hotel project (six from North Carolina, one from South Carolina and one from Georgia) but no submittals. And although nothing has happened yet, Bermuda Run remains interested in talking with interested parties.

“DFI put together a lot of contacts, and we reached out to a couple of Winston-Salem developers as well,” Rollins said. “At this point, we’re continuing to tout that availability. With the whole Clemmons Town Center area, I think some investors are still trying to figure that out. Maybe we need to let that build out and see how the demand is.”

In highlights from the Nov. 12 Bermuda Run Town Council meeting, the council:

• Heard a resolution directing the town clerk to investigate a petition received under G.S. 160-A-31, Bermuda Run Owner, LLC, which submitted a petition for contiguous annexation for property associated with Comet Bermuda Run apartments.

Rollins said that representatives of Comet, which received approval for a zoning permit of 224 units at 159 W. Kinderton Way, agreed to purchase additional acreage to meet the town’s requirement for the maximum number of units to acre. The property is about four acres.

The next steps in the process would be for the council to adopt a resolution after certification from the clerk and then calling for a public hearing on annexation at the Dec. 10 meeting.

• In another project, Brayden, where the town earlier approved the rezoning of a 71-acre tract of land for a residential development off N.C. 801 just north of Wake Forest Baptist Health — Davie Medical Center at the request of Shugart Enterprises LLC for a 150-lot subdivision for single-family and patio homes, received sewer allocation from the Davie County commissioners in its Nov. 4 meeting, according to Rollins.

He added that the property, which is just outside the town limits but in Bermuda Run’s planning distribution, would provide diversity of housing and new inventory with a price point in the $260,000 to $300,000 range.

• Appointed Paul Howard to Bermuda Run Tourism Development Authority. Howard is membership director at Bermuda Run Country Club and has spent his career in sales and events planning. He replaces Justin Massey, the general manager of Zaxby’s, Bermuda Run.

• Approved a Powell Bill reimbursement agreement with NCDOT consisting of the removal of decorative landscaping and capping of roundabout splitter islands with asphalt.