Clayton leaders approve the latest expansion of Riverwood community

ndunn@newsobserver.comApril 14, 2014 

With support from town leaders, Clayton’s largest residential community is poised for its first expansion since the housing-market crash.

Developer Fred Smith said construction on 46 new acres in Riverwood Athletic Club should begin this summer. The northeast Clayton subdivision, with upscale homes, schools and shops, will add 156 lots in multiple phases.

“We try to provide a service, and I think this allows us to continue to provide a great place to live,” Smith said.

The Clayton Town Council approved the expansion last week. The plan calls for about three single-family homes per acre with an average lot size of 6,500 square feet.

The developer will next apply for building permits and plat the lots, said Clayton Planning Director David DeYoung.

About 1,800 of the town’s nearly 16,000 residents live in Riverwood, which Smith started developing in 1998. The community is a satellite area within Clayton’s town limits.

The council annexed the new area as a condition of approving the expansion. The incorporated land and anticipated homes will add to the $750,000 that Smith said Riverwood residents pay in property taxes each year.

Town Manager Steve Biggs said most town growth is occurring in subdivisions approved before the Great Recession. So “seeing that Riverwood is platting new lots is a sign that the economy is picking back up,” Biggs said.

The 46 acres make up half of a tract that Smith’s company bought in January for $3 million, deed records show. The land is between the southern edge of the existing subdivision and Covered Bridge Road, along the Neuse River.

Smith said he’s not sure what he will do with the rest of the property.

“I think no one knows what’s going to happen to Covered Bridge (Road), whether it will be commercial or residential,” Smith said. “We sort of have plenty on our plate now, and hopefully we can leave that for a wiser decision in the future.”

The expansion will also add to the nearly 30-mile Neuse River Greenway Trail; Smith plans to give the town two acres along the Neuse River.

In an effort to mitigate traffic, crews will build a temporary construction entrance off of Covered Bridge Road during the project.

Biggs said the new phase will have at least two connection points into the existing subdivision.

Riverwood Ranch

More possibilities exist just east of the subdivision, along 267 acres marked for mixed-use development. Smith owns the land on Pritchard Road, where he plans to build a senior community called Riverwood Ranch.

Town leaders have already approved that development. Plans call for single-family homes, an apartment complex for ages 55 and older and medical facilities.

The project also calls for improvements to Pritchard Road and a future traffic signal at the proposed entrance across from Riverwood Athletic Club.


Dunn: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104

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