A Hillsborough business could soon find itself at a new location.
The Hillsborough Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Ram dealership wants to move to the site owned by Paliouras Enterprises LLC on the corner of Interstate 85 and N.C. 86 in Hillsborough to build a 24,600 square-foot auto dealership and service center with 349 spaces for cars located directly behind the Sheetz gas station, according to the News & Observer.
The process started in April, when Paliouras Enterprises LLC had its master plan for the site in Hillsborough presented at a public hearing to the Hillsborough Town Board, according to Margaret Hauth, Assistant Town Manager and Planning Director for Hillsborough.
“So that was actually processed at the April public hearing and approved in June and then the applicant immediately submitted their special use permit to start their review on the car dealership,” Hauth told the News of Orange.
In June, the Town Board officially annexed the site, which was needed to install water and sewer service at the site. The site was given an entranceway special use permit, with the master plan of the site showing “six retail lots, other than the dealership, and an additional, eight-acre lot designated for a hotel and stores,” according to the News & Observer.
“In a special use district, you have to ask for that zoning and submit your plan at the same time and what’s shown on that plan is all you can build without coming back for a modification,” Hauth said.
Although Hauth noted that a special use district requires more initial information from the applicant, it ultimately benefits the project because it improves the chance of approval with a full plan laid out.
According to the News & Observer, James Paliouras is interested in adding other businesses to the site. Other potential businesses could include a hotel, as referenced, and restaurants, according to the News & Observer. As of now, the car dealership is the only business that has been proposed.
The application for the car dealership to move from its current location at 259 South Churton Street next to Duke Primary Care was submitted to the Hillsborough Town Board on May 20, according to Hauth.
The application has already been through technical review twice, both in June and July. According to Hauth, the technical review involves getting staff together to review site plans. Those staff members include solid waste, public works, storm water and fire employees. The staff members then review the site plan to make sure there are no issues with the site.
In July, the application then went through to a joint public hearing in front of the Board. At the end of the meeting, the applicant decided to make some modifications to the car dealership application and will return to the Town Board meeting Aug. 12 with the modified application, according to Hauth.
“They’ve only allocated an hour for it on the 12th because the Board has other items,” Hauth said. “They could close the public hearing. If they close the public hearing, the Planning Board would be in a position to make a recommendation at their meeting that Thursday, the 15th, and the Town Board would receive it Sept. 9. If any of that doesn’t happen quite like that, we will have to scramble a little bit to try and keep it on schedule.”
If the application is approved and the dealership is allowed to move its location, it could help generate more business for the dealership.
“Well it gives them a lot more space to grow,” Hauth said. “I understand it’s a commitment that they made to Chrysler and related brands that they would build them a new dealership, so it gives them a lot more space. It gives them some high visibility.”