Where We Live: Downtown Wilmington condo has exposed brick walls and views of the Cape Fear River

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Where We Live: A weekly look at the homes in the Cape Fear Region

WILMINGTON — Ever dreamed of living in an historic building on the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington?

This week’s “Where We Live” features a 2,450 sq. ft. condo in the J.W. Brooks Building at 18 South Water St., a building that was originally constructed in 1920. But don’t think the nearly 100-year-old building is still living in the past.

The historic structure was renovated in 1998 and is now a mixed-use building that includes storefronts, an events venue and 11 apartment units. The condo in this week’s feature is unit number 6, a two-story residence purchased by Ted Gosstyla in November 2010.

The downstairs living area is lined with exposed brick walks and windows that look out into the Cape Fear River. Photos by Christina Haley.
The downstairs living area is lined with exposed brick walks and windows that look out into the Cape Fear River. (Photos by Christina Haley)

Walking into the condo, guests get a full view of the main living area, which is surrounded with windows, exposed brick walls and wooden beams, giving the apartment a modern-rustic feel. The windows add plenty of natural light into the living area and, when opened, create a breeze throughout the apartment.

“My best time in here is the spring and fall when we can open up all the windows … it’s just nice and airy,” Gosstyla told Port City Daily during a walk-through of the home last week.

The main floor has an open living room and dining room area, as well as a kitchen with a bar. There’s also a half bathroom on the main floor. 

Upstairs, the unit has three bedrooms, each with an adjoining full bathroom. The master bedroom and bathroom is outlined with exposed brick and windows that show a grand view of the river, the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge and Eagle Island.

On the main floor, there’s a small balcony off  the living room that also overlooks the river, with views of both the bridge and the USS North Carolina. It’s a perfect spot for enjoying the sights and sounds of the river, Gosstyla said, adding that the balcony is also a nice spot to catch the annual downtown Fourth of July fireworks display.

The river is also a hub for maritime traffic, which Gosstyla said, he enjoys watching move up and down the river.

“When you got the traffic going by – to me, it’s nice – I enjoy hearing it. You also have the horse drawn trolley that goes right down Water Street.”

The back side of the condo has views of Water Street and portions of downtown Wilmington’s Riverwalk. As a resident, Gosstyla said he likes seeing the atmosphere of the downtown area and changes in the seasons.

“What’s really nice is in spring time when you’ve got the pear trees out here starting bloom. You have two or three weeks of those white flowers,” Gosstyla said. “And after … then the cherry trees that are right down by our deck, they’ll start. And that’s a pretty sight.”

“It’s a beautiful place,” Julie Chacey added. “It’s full of history. And it’s fun.”

This apartment in downtown Wilmington is one of only a few downtown buildings that was actually built over the Cape Fear River.
This apartment in downtown Wilmington is one of only a few downtown buildings that was actually built over the Cape Fear River.

The condo is within walking distance to all downtown events, shops and eateries. Both Gosstyla and Chacey said they hardly leave the downtown area, because the city provides almost everything they need.

“We fill our car with gas maybe once a month. We get most of what we want here. We just stay around here,” Gosstyla said.

The California couple moved to the area for family reasons, but now they’re looking to move back to the place they call home. But since living here, the couple has immersed themselves in the downtown scene, and have become members of several groups, including Residents of Old Wilmington, Historical Wilmington Foundation, the USS North Carolina, and Railroad Museum.

The J.W. Brooks Building is also the spot of a newly-constructed portion of the Downtown Riverwalk, which is scheduled for completion this month. Gosstyla said once that is completed, the building’s Home Owner’s Association (HOA) plans tie-in its floating dock back onto the Riverwalk, giving boat access to the Cape Fear River. HOA dues are just over $14,300 annually.

For families, the area is zoned for Snipes Academy of Arts and Design (elementary school), Williston Middle School of Math, Science and Technology, and New Hanover High School.

This downtown condominium is on the market at $800,000.

Take a video tour of the home:

Where We Live is a weekly feature looking at the homes and unique places to stay in the Cape Fear Region. Do you have a home, on or off the market, that our readers may be interested in seeing? Let us know at PCD@localvoicemedia.com.

For more information about this week’s home or to view the property, contact Network Real Estate Agent at 910-619-8736 or via email at bamaguire1@aol.com. For more information about Network Real Estate and its listings click here