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Planning board OKs expanding downtown zoning to lot across from post office


Graham’s planning board has given its endorsement to a rezoning request from a former city councilman who hopes to build a multi-use building on a half-acres lot across from the post office, at the corner of East Pine and South Marshall streets.

Local builder Lee Kimrey, who is a former member of Graham’s city council, appeared before the advisory board for planning and zoning matters to make the request for 200 South Marshall Street last Tuesday night.

Kimrey’s was the first, and shortest, item on an agenda that subsequently stretched for more than five hours. [See separate story this edition about Cherry Lane warehouse proposals.]

Planning board agrees to postpone final decision on Cherry Lane warehouses:

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A single-family residence was on the property when Kimrey bought it, with plans to renovate it for rental purposes.

However, Kimrey explained that once access was obtained, he discovered that the house was “not only in need of repairs, but had major system problems.” He elaborated in response to planning board questions that the roof had failed, resulting in damage to walls and infestation.

Consequently, he decided to demolish the residential structure and to seek B-1 (downtown business district) rezoning for the property. A dentist office is next door, and another business is two lots down, it was explained.

Offices with the possibility of a “neighborhood commercial component,” such as a coffee shop, bakery, or small deli/sandwich shop, were what Kimrey told the planning board he has in mind.

The area is zoned for office and institutional use, even though it had a single-family home on it previously, but planning board members were generally favorable about Kimrey’s plans.
Kimrey did note, that by being in the downtown business district zoning, there is no limitation on the height of a potential building.

This is Kimrey’s second project on Marshall Street. Earlier this year, he announced plans for a three-story building on two lots at 106 North Marshall Street. That development, which Kimrey has named 106 North, will have four commercial storefronts on the ground floor and 24 loft apartments on the second and third floors, Kimrey has previously outlined to The Alamance News.

This could be the new look coming to 106 North Marshall Street in Graham, according to plans announced last December by Graham builder and former city councilman Lee Kimrey.

See coverage of Kimrey’s earlier Marshall Street proposal, a few blocks away, 106 North:

Planning board member Eric Crissman said he liked the idea of “expanding the downtown footprint. This is the way Graham needs to go,” he added, before making the motion to approve the planning board’s recommendation for the proposal to the city council.

The South Marshall Street rezoning passed unanimously, 5-0, with the support of Crissman, board chairman Dean Ward, and board members Tony Bailey, Michael Benesch, and Jerome Bias.

Asked about a possible timeline for construction, Kimrey said it would be “quite a while down the road.”

In a subsequent interview, Kimrey said he has also not yet started construction on the North Marshall Street project.

See other recent coverage of Graham residential and business projects and development: 

State Employees’ Credit Union buys former BB&T bank building; will renovate rather than building on lot already bought farther down South Main Street (Dec. 16, 2021):

Council approves rezoning for single-family houses and townhouses off Gilbreath Street (Nov. 9, 2021) :

Newest Meritage Homes development to target first-time home buyers (Oct. 26, 2021):

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