Will a smaller Wegmans be a better fit in Cary?

A new Wegmans grocery store in Cary will be smaller than proposed.

The Cary Town Council approved a revised plan Thursday from developers of the Twin Lakes Center off Davis Drive where the grocery store will be the anchor tenant.

The new design reduces the Wegmans from about 130,000 square feet to 103,000 square feet. But the store will offer the same array of groceries, Wegmans spokesman Stephen Leaty said. The company has adopted a smaller footprint for new stores to meet the demands of the changing marketplace, he said.

“We are seeing changes in the way customers buy groceries,” Leaty said. “We have a design that will be more efficient. We have seen changes in the retail environment, including the way we do business.”

The smaller size will simplify construction because a 144-space parking garage beneath the store in the original plan no longer is needed, developers said. The shopping center will still have 778 surface spaces for the grocery store and three other smaller retail tenants.

The revamped parking plan allows a larger cafe and outdoor seating area than originally planned. It also will be two feet shorter in height because the parking garage has been eliminated.

Councilman Don Frantz was disappointed to see the underground parking removed.

“I think there was an opportunity to do something different and remarkable, set a precedent, a higher bar for what we’re looking for in grocery development,” Frantz said. “It’s still a great project, and we’re excited to have Wegmans coming to town.”

Site preparation began in the spring. Wegmans still must obtain building permits before it can begin construction.

The 35-acre property will also have housing built on it for residents 55 years and up, said Leyland Alliance principal Jason Hess. Tuxedo Park, N.Y.-based Leyland, purchased the property for $6.6 million.

The Davis Drive Wegmans will likely be finished sometime in 2020, Leaty said. It’s the second Wegmans location in the Triangle to begin construction this year, along with one on Wake Forest Road in Raleigh. Wegmans has another store planned for Cary and one in Chapel Hill.

Wegmans, based in Rochester, New York, has been expanding southward in recent years. The company opens three new stores per year, Leaty said.

“It’s challenging to get a new store slotted on our corporate schedule,” Leaty said.

This will be the second Wegmans that Leyland Alliance has helped build, having developed a location for the grocer in Columbia, Maryland.

Staff writer Zachery Eanes contributed to this report.

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