Cary, N.C. — A nearly $200 million sports complex is looking to land in a new location in Cary. Plans were approved in 2020 to build the complex at the Cary Towne Center site, but that was before Epic Games bought the mall to demolish for its new headquarters.
Now, the town is working with the new owners of South Hills Mall, located along Interstate 40, Interstate 440 and U.S. Highway 1, to create the indoor sports facility with 100,000 square feet of competition space and a 4,000-seat arena.
The new South Hills owners paid more than $38 million for the property late last year. The owners recently signed a letter of agreement with the town to work together to include the sports complex in the redevelopment.
“It’s fortunate that this opportunity came up,” said Ted Boyd, economic development director for Cary.
The town signed an agreement with the mall’s new owners, including Loden Properties, who have also transformed the Longleaf Hotel and Gateway Plaza in Raleigh.
“We’ve actively engaged in the very early stages of a master plan for the site, and there’s mutual interest by our team and the Town of Cary to evaluate options for the community center as an integral part of our mixed-use programming,” a Loden Properties spokesman said in a statement.
Now, they’re working on plans to redevelop South Hills as a place for people to live, work and play.
“I believe it’s a tremendous opportunity for us to have a developer that wants to work with us and us with them, and it’s in a great location to serve the broader Triangle region,” said Boyd.
“We’re not really looking at any other site in Cary, so that helps [developers] be focused on their design efforts as we work on our design efforts,” he said.
Greater Raleigh Sport Alliance executive director Scott Dupree said that the region turns down 20 to 30 events each year that are looking for an indoor sports complex like the one that Cary is planning.
“This new facility in Cary will be a game changer,” said Dupree. “We’re already getting tremendous interest in it, especially from the basketball, volleyball and e-sports markets.”
Dupree said the location is a prime spot to put the Triangle in the game to host major sporting events.
“I see that part of Cary being a sports mecca,” said Dupree.
Developers said they expects to submit plans to the town to rezone the property in early summer. That’s also when the town expects to hire a team to design the new sports complex and community center. However, there’s no timeline for construction at this point.
“Both design teams have a lot of work ahead of them in order to better understand if a portion of the site can accommodate the town’s needs,” the Loden Properties spokesman said.