Wegmans Pulls Out of Fenton Development

Cary, NC — Owners of Wegmans have canceled their plans of bringing a second Wegmans to Cary.

No Second Wegmans for Cary

Since the initial renderings of Fenton, a 69-acre mixed-use development under construction in Cary, Wegmans has always been an anchor tenant.

That is, until today when the Triangle Business Journal reported that the New-York-based supermarket chain has pulled out of the project.

“Online shopping has grown tremendously, fueled in part by COVID-19, enabling us to serve customers in a much greater radius than was originally projected,” the company said in a statement to the News & Observer. “This has allowed us to plan our growth differently than we have in the past. As a result, we have decided not to move forward with the proposed Cary, NC location.”

The company also said an additional Wegmans store in Cary would not be in its future plans.

Fenton on the Search for Replacement

Now, the Fenton leasing team is on the search and fortunately has some experience in this area. It was just two months ago that the team announced the incoming Paragon Theaters would replace Cinébistro who had to also drop out of the plans.

In correspondence with The N&O, a representative of a Fenton developer company, Hines, said that the company is optimistic and that another grocery tenant could take the freed-up space.

“Given the immense interest in Fenton, where 80% of our retail space already is pre-leased, we are confident in completing the already strong mix of shopping, dining, entertainment and residential options,” Hines said in a statement Monday to The N&O.

Story from staff reports. Photos by Ashley Kairis and courtesy of Hines.

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12 replies
  1. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    So DISAPPOINTED! Since right before the holidays in 2020, I became hooked on Wegmans. Was so excited that they were building a store closer to me. WE DO NOT NEED another Harris Teeter or Food Lion or Publix . I hope if Wegmans is not to come, the powers at be will strive to bring Sprouts to Cary, NC.

  2. Michelle Burton
    Michelle Burton says:

    This is a HUGE disappointment. Wegmans is a fantastic store with none other like it. This was the big attraction.

  3. Harrison Marshall
    Harrison Marshall says:

    Without Wegmans Fenton is just another shopping center/office park clone with chain stores and chain restaurants. Along with failing to redevelop the mall into something better than yet another corporate HQ, it’s going to just be something to drive past on the way to North Hills or downtown Raleigh. Cary appears to still be too suburban to create a real urban center.

  4. Brendan
    Brendan says:

    Wegmans committed 4 years ago. I believe this was the first Wegmans to be announced for the region and was the cherry when it came to the Fenton development. Many celebrated the announcement.

    You have to question what’s the issue with Cary in the town’s inability to attract and deliver big brands and new developments. IKEA, multiple mixed-use plans for Cary Towne Center, and this. All have fallen through. Why? It can’t all be coincidence. Is working with the Town too painful for developers?

    Cary has some of the best (if not the best) demographics for household income & college graduates, etc., yet the town continues to lack more (any?) upscale developments and retail. Why?

    I believe Frankie’s Fun Park wanted to be located in East Cary off I-40. Nope too loud. They built in East Durham. IKEA coming to town. Everyone goes nuts. They back out. Top Golf. Nope. NIMBY. Cary Towne Center mixed-use redevelopments. Nope. Use this prime real estate into a corporate campus with little to offer to citizens. Now this news.

    Wegmans cancels Cary store, but is looking at a space for Holly Springs. WTH?

    So tired of this. It’s always Lucy and the football.

    It seems like Cary will always be grandma’s living room. Dull, drab in color, with nothing ever changing. Cary citizens just have stay content with tree-lined, divided parkway thoroughfares, good access to Goodberry’s, and sidewalks that roll up at 5:00 pm.

    • Jacob M. Nelson
      Jacob M. Nelson says:

      I also ask, in my best Seinfeld impersonation, “what is the deal” with that area dropping the ball on a third major project (Ikea, Carolina Yards, and now Wegmans). Not just preliminary studies, but projects fairly advanced in their development -past the drawing board stage, publicly announced, almost at ribbon cutting… and all that. Per their press release, Wegmans is citing the rise of online shopping as the reason for backing out. I think this could be a red herring…. something smells fishy. Again, 3rd major failed project in that area. Fool me once shame on you… fool me twice (now thrice) shame on me. BTW, love the Lucy and the football analogy, totally feels like that.

      Concerning them moving forward with their Holly Springs store, I am not surprised.

      In a way, Holly Springs is the new Cary. Overall, it now has a significantly higher family/household income than Cary. http://www.city-data.com/city/Holly-Springs-North-Carolina.html http://www.city-data.com/city/Cary-North-Carolina.html
      Of course, Cary is 5x the size, and much more divers, and it’s family/household income is very respectable given it’s population (170K folks). I imagine with larger more diverse towns/cities, such as Cary, it is more difficult to maintain such high ave family incomes.

      The area immediately around the Fenton’s “lost” Wegmans, as well as the “lost” Ikea and Carolina Yards, is particularly transient, diverse, and low/lower income -especially compared with many other suburban areas of Wake County. Not saying it’s East St Louis or the South-Side of Chicago …. by any means; but again, relative to typical suburban triangle standards and expectations.


      This surprises a lot of people who assume, because of what they have heard, or from limited experience, that Cary is totally homogenous upper income folks. This may have been “back in the day” (90s). Currently, it is actually very diverse… ethnically, culturally, socially, racially, economically…. much more so than Holly Springs, and increasingly Wake Forest and Fuquay Varina…. which are becoming increasingly homogenous and upper income enclaves as “wealthier” transplants move to new builds further out in the burbs. Cary is becoming more “inner ring suburban”.

      • Mark Neill
        Mark Neill says:

        Carolina Yards wasn’t “lost” – the property management company was given an offer they couldn’t refuse.

        Would CY have been a decent development area? Probably. But doubling your money in 4 years? Yes please, thank you, see you all later.

        • Lindsey Chester
          Lindsey Chester says:

          Yeah that was a quick deal, and a surprise as well. But would have been a lot of retail in an area that has none…this news really threw everyone for a loop.

  5. George
    George says:

    When they decide to come back to the Cary market, all the prime locations will be gone. Huge mistake. Huge.

  6. Gabe Talton
    Gabe Talton says:

    The Fenton is the only major new mixed use development on the new Wake County Bus Rapid Transit line and next to an under utilized exit from I-40. It is in a better position to absorb contraction in the retail space market than any strip mall dependent on the old model.

  7. Lydia
    Lydia says:

    Would it be possible to create an “International Food Court” at the site? Cary is so well-known throughout the Triangle and even the state for our authentic international food offerings. I remember people driving from SC to go to the Galaxy for the wonderful Indian food, and the restaurants at the intersection of Maynard/Chatham reflect this incredible diversity.

    An indoor International Food Court would provide a focus for these offerings, and could even have some large gathering rooms where talks about different cultures could occur for the community–for adults, seniors, and kids. It could become a real, living, breathing example of living ethnic diversity, right here in our little old town.

    Just a thought.

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