Compiled by James Dupree | Map by Jean Carlos Rosario-Montalvo
Transformation is well underway for the South of the Courthouse (SoCo) development project in downtown Pittsboro, which began in early 2021 with an estimated cost of more than $10 million.
The entire southwest corner across the street from the historic Chatham County Courthouse covers roughly 30,000 square feet from 39 West St. to 56 Sanford Rd.
A new brewery, Havoc Brewing Company, owned by Michael Pipkin, is expected to occupy the former Pittsboro Roadhouse restaurant site. The original building housed the Justice Motor Company, a well-known car dealership that brothers Frank Justice and Fred Justice opened in 1947. The site covers 6,392 square feet of space, including the old 2,561-square-foot showroom. A distillery plant for the brewing company is being installed as well as a tasting room, with plans to open late this summer.
SoCo developer Greg Stafford expanded the building project to include 45 West St., where the defunct Mathiesen Clinic stands. Dr. K.M. Mathiesen operated it for close to 30 years before it closed in 1974. Renovations are underway with a possible completion date in summer 2023.
“It’s demolition with care,” Greg says. “We’re not taking down the building, but cleaning out asbestos and removing lead paint.” That building’s 6,500 square feet is divided into 18 hospital rooms with two large conference areas. The location is likely to be used as leasable office space and a new home for Chateaux Realty and Chatham Business Services. The latter business is temporarily located at 21 E. Salisbury St. since its former spot was incorporated into The Modern Life Deli & Drinks restaurant and its bar – The Other Side.
A new building at 56 Sanford Rd. may be suitable for a restaurant or bar and remains available for lease with 5,000 square feet of space and a second-story outdoor patio.
Greg says his aim with SoCo is not to erase history, but to establish new local businesses and attractions, recapturing the busy downtown lifestyle without losing the historical feel synonymous with downtown Pittsboro.
CHATHAM PARK UPDATES
The School of the Arts for Boys Academy expects to begin its inaugural school year in August. Founded by Valencia Toomer, a former principal of George Moses Horton Middle School with about 20 years of experience in education, the school’s mission is to educate and empower young boys from diverse backgrounds through a “culturally responsive arts-based education.” Though construction has not yet begun, the school will be located adjacent to Chatham Park. Valencia hopes to enroll more than 100 third through sixth grade boys in the school. Parents or guardians should complete applications for enrollment by the end of April. Students will be accepted through a randomized lottery system; 60% of slots will be reserved for educationally disadvantaged students.
Thales Academy is set to open the doors to its Pittsboro location in time for the upcoming school year. This will mark the private school’s eighth campus in the Triangle, bringing its total number to 14 across North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee. The school will operate on 94,137 square feet of land located at 200 Vine Pkwy. in Chatham Park and will enroll grades K-6. Average tuition for the elementary grades is set to cost around $5,300 per year, with scholarships and payment plans available. The campus currently consists of an elementary school, playground and multiple outdoor classroom areas. Future phases include the construction of a second building housing a high school and middle school, which will be connected to an auditorium.
Construction began in January for Encore, Chatham Park’s first active adult community for residents ages 55 and older by David Weekley Homes. This development will be similar in concept to the Encore neighhorhood already established in Briar Chapel. Chatham Park’s Encore neighborhood will have 349 homes located within close proximity to Mosaic at Chatham Park, a mixed-use community that spans 44 acres along Hwy. 15-501. Encore will feature numerous amenities for its residents, including cycling/ walking trails, a tennis court, and a clubhouse with a state-of-the-art fitness center, bocce ball court, resort-style pool, yoga and pilates classes, cooking classes, wine socials and craft workshops. Building completion is expected by the end of 2022.
The Mosaic Sales & Leasing Center at Chatham Park has opened with information on residential and rental offerings. Tessera at Mosaic offers townhomes for sale, which average 1,500 square feet with prices ranging from $300,000 to $600,000. The Guild, opening in early 2023, will offer modern, one- and two-bedroom apartments for lease.
Chatham Park’s housing community Vineyards has sold 556 lots to national builders and several North Carolina-based custom builders, including Prewitt Custom Homes, Walker DesignBuild, Upton & Company and Upright Builders. Townhomes average between 1,000 and 1,800 square feet, while custom homes can feature as much as 4,000- plus square feet, with prices starting at $300,000. North Carolina-based developer Garman has opened its model home, the Barnaby, for touring. The 2,600-square-foot residence was designed as the 2021 America at Home Study Concept Home.