NEW BERN -

Construction at the Craven Thirty site in New Bern is expected to begin as early as this summer, according to the state operations manager for Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Development, Taylor Downey.

The land, located near Highways 43 and 70 in New Bern is designated to be a premier shopping and entertainment location. A movie theater and production company committed to building on the property last fall.

Construction crews are working on creating roads on the property and installing utility drains. Once that is complete, companies planning to build on the land will be able to submit requests to the city for building permits. Downey said he is hopeful building will begin by July or August.

“I’m really hoping that when people pass on Highway 70 and Highway 43, they’ll see things coming out of the ground by that time,” Downey said.

The 350-acre property was originally planned to be a traditional shopping center, but Downey said the new plan revolves around a value-retail center that would have both retail and outlet shopping.

“We’re looking at it as a mixture of the outlet-type centers and your more traditional big boxes as well as shops.”

Downey said the conversations are ongoing to bring major retailers to the site.

Construction on entrance lanes from Highway 43 is expected to begin in the next few weeks.