Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer
Ingles Markets purchased the old Walmart property in the Holly Springs Plaza in 2015 and it has remained vacant ever since. While Ingles built the new Super Ingles on the other end of town, the future of the Holly Springs plaza has remained a mystery — and while there is still no concrete answer from Ingles as to the grocery chain’s plans for the property, the one thing that is certain is that it will have water and sewer from the town of Franklin.
During last week’s meeting of the Franklin Town Council, the board approved a water and sewer allocation request for the Holly Springs Plaza off US 441.
“What you have before you tonight is a water and sewer allocation request for the property located on 4501, Highway 441 Bypass, which is the old Walmart property,” said Franklin Town Manager Summer Woodard.
Although the Town Council did approve the allocation request for the property, no official plans have been made to construct a new Ingles store at the Holly Springs Plaza location.
“It’s really too early to discuss anything beyond what is in the allocation requests,” said Ron Freeman, Chief Financial Officer for Ingles Markets. “We hope the municipal process continues to run smoothly so we can discuss more in the future.”
The water and sewer request to the town included a proposed vision from Ingles Markets to “revitalize” the shopping plaza. John Cox with Land Planning Associates of North Carolina said, “The redevelopment will create a rework of the existing square footage on the site as well as the current use of each building.”
Although Freeman didn’t confirm plans for a new Ingles store, Cox’s letter to the board included a water and sewer request based on estimated usage levels for each building in the plaza and specifically estimated water and sewer needs for an Ingles grocery store and an Ingles gas station.
Ingles purchased the Holly Springs Plaza property in 2015 for $3.7 million and beyond confirming the purchase nearly five years ago, the chain has been tight lipped on plans for the future. Ingles opened a Super Ingles on the Georgia Road in the Fall of 2017. In addition to the 72,128 square foot shopping center, the property included 14,800 in additional space for retail shops. Since opening in 2017, those shops have remained vacant.