Climate Resilient Design for NC Shopping Center
Searching for a great location to develop its largest store in the nation, grocery chain Harris Teeter teamed up with Columbia Development to develop a new shopping center, New Bern Marketplace in New Bern, NC, with the grocer as one of the main anchor tenants.
With some site selection assistance from Bohler, Columbia Development landed on an open site across the street from Harris Teeter’s current, smaller location – an intersection where the grocer had experienced historic success. But despite the location’s proven track record, the development team faced several big challenges, including taking proactive measures for the shopping center to withstand major storms.
To ensure Harris Teeter and the other new retailers were easily accessible to shoppers, Bohler coordinated with multiple adjacent property owners to create new entrance points from a side road. Bohler worked to ensure limited disruption to their operations during construction and provided a new parking lot to make up for lost space.
Improving Public Roadways
With the addition of 300,000 SF of retail space, major off-site roadway improvements were required to mitigate additional traffic flow. When a new turning lane involved rebuilding a monument structure at the center’s entrance, Bohler again coordinated with the adjacent property owners affected by the change.
Collaborating with the team’s traffic engineer, Bohler helped design a new signalized intersection at the main entrance, and incorporated road widening improvements to three nearby roadways. While increasing accessibility to both new and existing retailers at the site, the upgrades improved driving conditions for the entire community.
Surviving the Storm
During design, Bohler looked beyond immediate conditions and considered future challenges the site would possibly endure. With a portion of the site in a 100-year floodplain and the remaining property offering minimal elevation changes, Bohler’s engineers recognized its vulnerability to flooding during heavy storms and the impact it could have on the center’s tenants.
Through careful analysis of potential weather threats, the team developed a stormwater management design that incorporated seven separate rainwater collection systems spread throughout the site. Bohler managed the complex systems’ permitting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the City of New Bern, and the state.
When Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina in 2018, the collective stormwater management system withstood the storm, allowing the site to survive more than 30 inches of rain without significant flood damage.
Realizing Development Goals
For Harris Teeter, the success of New Bern Marketplace facilitated the opening of its largest location at 100,000 SF, bringing never-before-seen amenities to the community, including a burger bar, sushi train, juice bar, and a drive-thru pharmacy.
By coordinating additional access points to the center, Bohler created an opportunity for Columbia Development to bring another successful shopping center to the area that includes two other national anchors, as well as local retailers.
With careful consideration and efficient design, Bohler’s stormwater management solution brought the entire site through a major hurricane, enabling tenants to resume operations following the storm.