Brianna Crane, Lake Norman Publications
The Cambridge Village shopping center coming to N.C. 16 at N.C. 73 will be anchored by Florida-based grocery chain Publix and will be surrounded by nine other retailers, service providers and restaurants, including one of Denver’s first brick-and-mortar clothing boutiques, Southern Native.
Southern Native started as mobile boutique owned by Denver native Leslie Beam and her sisters, Beth Lawrence Perkins and Robin Lawrence. The boutique took off in April, and the trio has traversed all over the state since, totaling in 38 appearances and 3,300 travel miles, Beam said.
“This is our first storefront,” she said. “Our business has done so well mobile, so we were looking for a place to call home. Of course Denver is our home, so that’s where want we want our first store to be.”
Beam said the store will offer the same items Southern Native “fans” are used to having, but with even more items and options. She said they’re considering more gift items and home decor in addition to their accessories, apparel and embroidery.
“Growing up here, and being here as long as I have been… I think Denver is due its own place to shop,” Beam said. “It’s not your normal boutique where you only see size 0 or 2; we have clothes for everybody. When people hear ‘boutique’ they might think there aren’t going to be clothes that fit them, when that’s not the case in our store.”
In addition to accommodating a variety of body types, Beam wants the space to be a rustic experience, just like the mobile shop.
“It won’t look exactly like the mobile boutique but it’ll have surprises,” Beam said. “It won’t look like anything that’s opened up in Denver so far.”
And Beam said she plans to nurture her vision from the ground up, from designing the space to running the shop, it’ll all be done locally.
“My husband and I are going to do it ourselves,” she laughed. “I have a vision, and he does a good job at taking orders… he’s really handy.”
Beam also said she’s excited to work with Cambridge Properties because the company seems to want to bring in what’s best for the area.
“It’s a scary thing, but it’s exciting,” she said. “I won’t lie, I’ve laid awake some nights. I always say, ‘Go big or go home,’ so I’m going big or going home I guess.”
Jay Priester, vice president of development and leasing for Cambridge Properties, said locals can expect to see a few projects completed before 2017 comes to a close, though Publix isn’t scheduled to open until the first quarter of 2018.
“In December a traffic signal will be going up on the new road we built in front of the site,” Priester said. “Plus a few more modifications to Pilot Knob Road.”
A four-way intersection and traffic light will go in at N.C. 16 and Crescent Dellinger Road, which is the new road created by Cambridge near the Wendy’s, he said.
Cambridge was also required to add a right through lane on N.C. 16 and left and right turns into the shopping center from N.C. 73.
Priester said walkability is also a huge factor in the development, and people can expect to see crosswalks and sidewalks extending from the nearby Rivercross Apartment complex all the way to Publix, making a portion of N.C. 16 more safe for pedestrians.
Cambridge Village will also include a nail salon, a hair salon, Crafty Burg’r and a UPS store, all planned for 2018.