Developer delays rezoning request for shopping center on Friendly Ave.

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — A developer has decided to wait at least another month to submit a rezoning proposal for a new shopping center near Friendly Center.

Regency Centers had originally planned to file the rezoning request on Friday. However, the company said in a statement Friday it hasn’t completely gone through comments from neighbors and other stakeholders, and it wants to do that before moving forward.

The developer is seeking to rezone a residential area on Friendly Avenue and Hobbs Road. Six homes are on the land, though Councilman Zack Matheny said 18 homes could fit there.

Developers have not publicly stated which stores would go in the complex, but Matheny confirmed Friday one of the stores in the center would be a Trader Joe’s.

A CVS Pharmacy is being talked about as one of the other 14 stores in the four-building complex.

Matheny said Regency Centers at first wanted to build a Trader Joe’s in the former Sears store at Friendly Center. However, Whole Foods ended up getting the spot through negotiating.

Matheny said that led to this proposal to build a whole new shopping center.

Even if this plan doesn’t come through, Matheny said it’s only a matter of time before the plot of land becomes commercial.

“I do think within the next short term, whether it’s this project or not, something is going to be on this land other than what’s currently there,” Matheny said.

While a group of nearby homeowners have been talking about how best to fight the proposal, some of the six homeowners told FOX8’s Lindsey Eaton off-camera Friday they are in favor of it.

“The homeowners on that section of land have come together as a group, it’s my understanding, and said, ‘We want to sell as a group,'” Matheny said.

However, neighbor Scott Kinsey said Friday he will continue his opposition.

“We hope that by late Saturday night or early Sunday morning these things will be up in yards all around our neighborhoods,” Kinsey said.

The complex would have two entrances–one on West Friendly Avenue and the other on Hobbs Road. Trees and other landscaping would help block the view of the stores from neighboring houses. Neighbors would also be shielded from having to see loaders, as the loading would take place between stores instead of in the back.

As two of the buildings would face West Friendly, a wall would be built between those stores so they wouldn’t see the loading process.

Full statement from Regency Centers (sent to FOX8):

Regency Centers has spent the last two months holding meetings with neighborhood groups and other interested parties in preparation for submitting a zoning request to develop a village center on Friendly Avenue at Hobbs Road. Regency is in the process of incorporating the information gathered at those meetings into its final design for the proposed project. In order to be thorough in its consideration and incorporation of stakeholder comments, Regency will not be filing for a rezoning today. Regency is committed to moving forward with its plans and looks forward to presenting them to the city when they are complete.