There are ambitious plans for south Salisbury Boulevard, where the Temple Hill Motel and nearby Court Plaza stand.
A Chinese investment company has purchased both for $4.2 million, with the intention of establishing retail and residential units there, in the Kay Avenue and Pine Bluff Road vicinity. The concentration will be on student housing.
The new development is in early stages, but Memo Diriker, president of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, called it a welcome addition to the city.
“Anything that increases commerce is welcomed by the chamber. We certainly wish the new buyers luck as they look at new combinations for use of the property and we are ready, willing and able to assist them in any way we can,” he said.
Chris Davis, a broker for Sperry Van Ness in Salisbury, confirmed Chinese investors bought 12 acres, encompassing the motel and Court Plaza, plus a small house behind the motel that used to be a retail establishment. He wouldn’t release the name of the investors.
He said the plan is to build a structure similar to five-story Sea Gull Square, farther north, in the 1300 block of the boulevard. That center has Roly Poly sandwich shop, Starbucks, a frozen yogurt shop, beauty shop, clothing store and other shops. There are about 180 apartments for SU upperclassmen.
Court Plaza has shops including Educational Supply, Planned Parenthood and a hobby spot. They will remain open for about a year, Davis said.
Temple Hill, built in the 1940s and in the 1500 block of South Salisbury Boulevard, has been for sale for a while, he said. The hotel sold for about $2 million.
The plaza was not on the market, “but we approached them and they agreed,” he said. Closing was about one month ago.
There is no target date to break ground, he said, estimating the approval process will take about one year.
He said even though student housing will be built, there is no connection with Salisbury University. It’s a private development.
“It will be a great development and a great asset for the university to have. It’s close to the university. It will be one of the closest student housing projects to the university. Students won’t have to cross Route 13. And, it will be a great addition to South Salisbury Boulevard,” Davis said.
He said it’s time “for that whole area to be redeveloped.”
“That whole plaza needs it. These investors chose Salisbury to develop because they felt comfortable investing in the city and they like Salisbury University, with its growth. And, they like these property and its proximity to the university,” he said.
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