Wake Forest voters approve four bond questions
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Wake Forest voters approved all four questions on the referendum ballot for the Town of Wake Forest:
Question #1 concerning roadway and transportation improvements ($23.7 million) passed 14,940 to 4,617 (76% to 24%).
Question #2 regarding parks and recreation ($24.4 million) passed 13,783 to 5,808 (70% to 30%).
Question #3 concerning greenway improvements ($14.35 million) passed 13,226 to 6,327 (68% to 32%).
Question #4 regarding the downtown parking facility ($12.5 million) passed 10,873 to 8,586 (56% to 44%).
The Town is seeking voter authorization to issue up to $12.5 million in general obligation (G.O.) bonds for a public parking facility in downtown Wake Forest, 353 S. White St.
353 S. White St.
The Town of Wake Forest engaged the Development Finance Initiative (DFI) in December 2018 to assist with attracting private investment for the redevelopment of the former SunTrust building site located at 353 S. White St.
The site is located between Wake Forest’s downtown historic core and Renaissance Place making it a strategic location for redevelopment. The Town intends to see the site developed into a transformative mixed-use project that meets both public and private goals.
Background & Process
The former SunTrust building site is approximately one-acre and is comprised of two Town-owned parcels. The site is bounded by South White Street to the west, Elm Avenue to the south, and Brooks Street to the east. The existing building is approximately 5,300 sq. ft. and currently vacant.
In March 2019, DFI and Town staff met to review findings from the community and parcel analysis and discuss the guiding public interests that will inform the predevelopment process for the project. The guiding public interests for the SunTrust site were informed by the Board of Commissioners, Town staff, current strategic plans, public statements and local stakeholder conversations. On Tuesday, June 18, the Board of Commissioners endorsed the following guiding public interests:
Redevelopment of the former SunTrust site should:
Connect the downtown historic core and Renaissance Plaza and serve as a gateway to downtown.
Incorporate engaging street-level uses to increase pedestrian activity along White, Elm and Brooks Street.
Provide sufficient parking to meet needs of development and other downtown uses.
Minimize public investment and maximize private investment.
The Town and DFI have explored options to expand the project site to meet these guiding public interests more effectively. The Town is excited to announce that it has executed Purchase and Sales Agreements with adjacent property owners as the latest step in its efforts to deliver a project that meets both public and private sector interests.
That has yet to be determined, however, all public parking in downtown Wake Forest is free currently. The Town will make arrangements with the developer to address residential parking in the facility, but at this time, it is unknown what that will entail.
The bond proceeds will comprise the Town's portion of the cost to construct the downtown parking facility.