Marinoni land development deal canceled

The Marinoni family owns 108 acres of mostly vacant pasture southeast of the Interstate 49 interchange at Wedington Drive.

Staff photo

Plans are off for The Cottages, a 702-bedroom student housing development proposed in west Fayetteville.

Capstone Collegiate Communities is no longer under contract to buy 23 acres of the Marinoni family’s 108-acre property along Wedington Drive and Interstate 49.

The Alabama-based student housing developer submitted plans for review that show 150 units spread across the site, ranging in size from smaller, single-family structures with three bedrooms apiece to large duplexes with five bedrooms on each side.

Staff photo

At only 31 people per acre, the development would’ve been about seven times less dense than the other student apartment complexes recently built around town.

Still, residents in the surrounding areas said the staff-recommended street tie-ins would put too much traffic on Sang Avenue and into the neighborhoods along Markham Road and Cleveland Street as students commute to class.

Other improvements were also recommended, like adding a left turn lane on Wedington and installing traffic calming devices on the residential connector streets to the east of the site.

The project was set to be discussed at a Planning Commission meeting on June 23, but a spokesperson for the Marinoni family said Wednesday the deal was dead.

“Ultimately, we were not able to come to agreement on who was paying for all the extra costs imposed on the project,” said Mary Sue Shaw, a Marinoni sibling.

Shaw said the Marinonis will request changes to the city’s master street plan, which calls for a future connection between the Marinoni property and Sang Avenue.

“We hope the neighbors will join us in that effort,” said Shaw.

Site plans show four types of dwelling units (click to enlarge).

Shaw said she also hopes the family can come to an agreement with city and the neighbors regarding neighborhood connectivity prior to any new development proposal.

Nathan Streett, a project manager with CEI Engineering Associates, said after discussions with Capstone, the two parties agreed to request that the project be tabled indefinitely.

Streett, in an email to Andrew Garner, city planning director, said if the project grows new legs, he would be in touch.

“We all recognize the development potential of this site, as well as the challenges that it poses,” he said. “Someday I hope we can work through them.”