Nine months after the sale of the Riverbirch Corner shopping center to Ohio-based real estate holding company CASTO, the wait to find out what the new owners plan to do with the property may be over.

An agenda for an Aug. 31 meeting of the Sanford-Lee County Planning Department’s Technical Review Committee shows a proposal to redevelop the property, “including the demolition and replacement of most structures to establish a completely redesigned mixed-use space including retail, offices, multi-family, and integrated first-floor commercial/multi-family structures and associated public and private open spaces and recreational areas, nature trails, and landscaping.”

The proposal includes drawings that show the two buildings currently housing Belk would be the only remaining structures after the redevelopment, which would also include a new gas station, four new commercial buildings, a mixed commercial/residential building, a mixed commercial/office building, and two multifamily residential buildings with an estimated 253 units.

A drawing of the redevelopment proposal for Riverbirch Corner. The existing entrance can be seen at bottom right, and the buildings currently housing Belk near the center right. The other buildings shown would be new commercial, office and residential space. Source: Sanford-Lee County Planning Department

Riverbich has anchored west Sanford since the late 1980s but largely fallen into decline in recent years. The 2022 sale brought with it hopes for redevelopment, which seems to be in the early stages of moving forward.

The Technical Review Committee is comprised of local officials from various city and county government entities representing Sanford, Lee County and Broadway. The committee meets monthly to review commercial projects and major subdivisions for compliance with the codes and policies of various local departments. Committee members make no guarantee that the projects submitted for review will be developed — only that they fall under compliance. The proposals could also be amended due to recommendations or requests from the TRC.

CASTO owns dozens of shopping center properties in Ohio, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina – many of them anchored by large retailers like Kroger, Target, Kohl’s, Stein Mart, and others.

CASTO’s North Carolina properties include Stone Creek Village in Cary, Shoppes at Wakefield Park in Raleigh, Park West Village in Morrisville, Adams Farm Shopping Center and the Shoppes at Battleground North in Greensboro, and others in Winston-Salem, Durham, Charlotte, Jacksonville, and Burlington.