Developers ready to extend MacDuff Parkway

Completion of the MacDuff Parkway extension may be coming sooner than anyone might have thought.

Two weeks ago, John Wieland Homes officials announced they were ready to proceed with construction as soon as their partner in the project, Brent Scarborough, was ready. That moment may just be materializing now, as Wieland representative Dan Fields announced Thursday that Scarborough has inked a deal with a developer for an assisted living project.

Wieland and Scarborough are to jointly build the road extension, which includes a bridge over the CSX railroad and will link MacDuff with Ga. Highway 74 North. The extension has been desired a long time by residents of Wilksmoor Village, who currently only have one way in and one way out of their subdivisions: using the often-clogged artery of Ga. Highway 54 West.

Fields said it could be as little as 12 or 18 months before the MacDuff extension is completed. The road path has already been cleared, he noted.

“We’re ready to move forward as soon as our development partner Brent is ready to proceed,” Fields said. “I understand they’re ready to go and we’ll be ready to go as well.”

Wieland is seeking a rezoning to put 204 homes on a 87-acre tract a short distance off MacDuff Parkway that is not part of the annexed land. Though Fields said the company would agree to postponing the decision to allow the planning commission to vet the proposal one more time, Fields made it clear that the development was necessary for Wieland to meet its financial obligations on extending MacDuff Parkway.

Fields noted that if the site was developed for industrial use, the traffic would be five times that of the proposed 204 homes Wieland wants to build on the site.

The 204-home subdivision would be age-targeted for residents 55 and up with price points north of $300,000 and the 34-home subdivision would not be age-targeted, but would have price points upwards of $450,000, Wieland officials have said.

The site borders the CSX railroad track and also is the location of the former “Peach Pit” construction landfill.

The peak-hour traffic in the morning for the 204-home subdivision is projected at 153 cars, and in the afternoon peak rush hour it’s expected to add 206 cars to the roads, Fields said. If the property remains general industrial, it would have an expected peak both in the morning and afternoon of more than 800 cars, Fields added.

Council’s decision on the rezoning has been pushed back to the May 15 meeting.

Wieland has withdrawn a second proposed rezoning for a 17-acre parcel off MacDuff that previously was to be the site of a new elementary school.