Lillington continues to grow
By Rick Curl
Dunn Daily Record
For some time there’s been a big question mark hanging in the air around the land between Lillington and Campbell University along U.S. Highway 421. What will become of the area posted with “For Sale” signs? This week, a developer in Raleigh has cleared up the mystery and answered the question.
Greenfield Communities Inc. has announced plans to develop around 820 acres of the property, which they closed on in late December, to include around 2,250 new residential units.
Several potential options exist for the final project, which Greenfield President Matt Brubaker says is still early in the planning stages.
The master plan, the second in Harnett County by Greenfield, will be called Capeton, and the city of Lillington is a more than willing partner in the project.
“This is truly a mixed use development with a variety of amenities, residential uses and 500,000 square feet of commercial, approved for the project,” Lillington Town Manager Joseph Jeffries said. “The town is excited to work with Greenfield Communities to bring a project of this magnitude to the town of Lillington.”
The project could include a site for a school and will afford Lillington almost 12,000 linear feet of greenway easement along the Cape Fear River, according to Jeffries.
A multitude of amenities are being discussed to bring the 820 acres tract of land to life. Residential offerings will likely consist of single-family detached, townhomes, cottages, multi-family and active adult living.
Along with residential units, Greenfield Communities envisions both commercial and recreational amenities such as a grocery-anchored shopping center with retail gathering areas, as well as an office park. The master plan also is slated to include two clubhouses, nature trails with a 2.5-mile riverfront greenway trail along with large and pocket-sized parks and a riverfront amphitheater.
“Lillington is a hidden gem,” Brubaker said. “It’s a wonderful community whose town leadership has a tremendous vision for the future.”
Brubaker said the hope for Capeton is to make the development a unique and attractive place.
“With the continued growth of the Raleigh market into Harnett County, Capeton will be a destination community for retailers and homebuyers — a wholly unique place,” he said. “With incredible views of the Cape Fear River, this is one of the most beautiful tracts of land that I’ve ever seen, and we have the opportunity to do something distinctive and special here at Capeton.”
Brubaker has a personal connection to the area as well.
“As a two-time graduate from Campbell University, I love the town of Lillington,” he said. “And we are thrilled to be partnering with them to bring this mixed-use master plan to life.”
No official date or timeline has been released when it comes to when Capeton will start to take shape. Brubaker anticipates construction getting underway sometime in 2023.
“Commencement of development is undetermined as of today, as we have a long way to go with design and development approvals with the town of Lillington, Harnett County and the state,” Burbaker said. “So it all depends on how quickly permitting can be completed, but I think a realistic development date is the first quarter of 2023. Phase 1 development will likely take 10 to 12 months to complete, putting the first homes online in 2024.”
Greenfield Communities is no stranger to Harnett County. Its first master plan project, Serenity, is located northeast of U.S. Highway 401 and Rawls Church Road in the northern part of the county. Early spring is the target for beginning opening sales for Serenity.