By Richard Sullins |

The Sanford City Council is expected to give final approval Tuesday for the construction of a large apartment complex to be located near the intersection of N.C. 87 and Harvey Faulk Road. This new construction will take place across the road from the Oakwood Mobile Home Park and just north of the Ascend Leadership Academy.

The 22.15-acre tract is currently zoned as Residential/Single Family and developer Mark Lyczkowski has petitioned the council to designate it as the Adams Village Conditional Zoning District (CZD). The city’s planning board met March 21 and recommended approval of Lyczkowski’s request.

The plan calls for construction of a 320-unit complex. The CZD requirements call for each unit’s exterior to be built at least 30 percent of brick and the roofs will be covered by a 30-year architectural grade shingle. The complex will include a pool and bath house.

The plan calls for several large open spaces designed to preserve an “out of the city” vibe and walking and play space for canines to be called a “dog bark.” The average daily vehicle count along that stretch of 87 is 22,500 vehicles per day, while the average along Harvey Faulk Road is just over 500 vehicles per day, meaning that the Adams Village project will be constructed alongside one of the city’s busiest roadways.

Both cities and developers are increasingly turning to the creation of conditional districts with many new projects, seeing them as tools that allow for greater zoning flexibility. Those developments, like the Adams Village CZD, are stand-alone divisions that have their own unique requirements and conditions.

Among the most significant of these is a requirement that any changes to the site plan or details of the construction must be approved by the city before the next phase of construction can begin. CZDs are permitted under the Plan SanLee land use plan adopted by Sanford, Broadway, and Lee County five years ago.

Lyczkowski told the council this project was developed with affordability being foremost in his mind.

“You see a lot of houses going up in Sanford that are in the upper $200,000 range and higher, $320, $340, $380 and on up from there. And the folks that are coming in to work at VinFast and Wolfspeed and the companies that will grow up around them are not all going to be able to afford that kind of housing,” he said. “So, at the end of the day, I think you will see a lot more apartment projects like this one coming around. A lot of the apartments we have in Sanford are, I think, dated, to say the least. Having new apartments coming in will be advantageous for our town. It gives us affordability options.”

Lyczkowski’s crystal ball

If the city council approves the Adams Village project this week, it will mark the third major apartment project to have been approved since the Christmas holidays.

The first is the proposed Hawkins Village Apartments project, with frontage on Hawkins Avenue and stretching along the southern boundary of the Hawkins Run subdivision as far as Cape Jasmine Drive. This 22.27-acre project is another being developed by Lyczkowski and its projected to create 288 apartments.

A larger project that will run along the northern boundary of Hawkins Run will be known as The Station Apartments, containing six buildings of 76 apartments each, for a total of 456 apartments. Like Hawkins Village, The Station will feature one, two, and three-bedroom units.

That’s 1,064 new apartments – just among those three projects.

Lyczkowski, though, is engaged in more than just housing developments, and he gave a hint of some things that could be coming soon to Sanford. Two other housing communities are on the drawing board for the land to the immediate west and south of Walmart. This area would be filled with apartments and single-family homes, Lyczkowski said, and the long-range plan is to make that area into a walkable community that would transform the living and shopping experiences.

Another Lyczkowski project, Ashby Village, a 30-acre tract located just behind and to the right of Lowe’s Home Improvement store on Horner Boulevard, is now under contract “with a very reputable commercial developer, and we have been approached by a lot of the things that we want Sanford to have,” he said.

“I can’t say any names,” Lyczkowski continued. “But they are coming.”

Other agenda items

There are still more housing developments up for discussion at Tuesday’s meeting, set for 5 p.m. at City Hall, including a proposal for a zoning map amendment submitted by Brian Richards of Urban Design Partners to designate a 12.27-acre parcel as the Kelly Drive Townhomes CZD, an application by DR Horton, Inc. to rezone four tracts of land with frontage on Colon Road and U.S. 1 as the Gum Fork CZD, and a public hearing on a proposal to close out the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that completed the Linden Avenue project neighborhood revitalization project.