WAXHAW – Town Manager Greg Ferguson told Waxhaw commissioners April 9 that his staff was working to identify regional developers with interest in the Nivens-Price building.
The historic downtown building, which dates back to the early 20th century, used to be the place to go for feed and groceries. The town-owned building is now rented out to the likes of Created in the Carolinas, NoMa Hair & Skin Studio, Waxhaw Entrepreneurs and Waxhaw Kid Coders.
But a panel with the Urban Land Institute recommended late last year that Waxhaw should oversee the redevelopment of the building, but not as the owner. The panel recommended the town improve the building façade and retain the back parking lot, but transition the structure to private ownership.
The thinking there is that private ownership could stimulate future investment.
Ferguson told commissioners that several developers are evaluating their interest in the project and staff would need to have follow-up discussion with the board to determine goals.
“We’re trying to gauge interest in the broader market,” Ferguson said, noting there’s also been interest among local developers.
“The developers that have talked about Niven-Price so far really have emphasized the parking lot and importance of that particular area to the project and potentially a restaurant use.”
Ferguson said current tenants are leasing month-to-month and none have been asked to change their business practices or leave.
The town has worked to improve parking around the building. Commissioners approved shifting $35,000 toward a project last month that would yield 60 to 70 parking spaces in the lot next to the building.