Saturday, April 20, 2024

Over 300 townhomes planned off Market Street, historic Castle Street lot to see mixed-use

A 348-townhome development planned off Market Street. (Paramounte Engineering)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — More residential development plans ranging in scale have popped up on county and city radars.

READ MORE: Church plans second affordable community in Castle Hayne

In the Porter’s Neck area, CIP Construction Company Inc. and Paramounte Engineering have designed a 350-townhome complex accessed from 8138 Market Street. The plans span six parcels totalling 30 acres. The properties are owned by Bee Safe Porters Neck LLC and Herbert Parham; according to the project overview provided to the county, the land was used as a farm/nursery and landscaping contracting business. 

The preliminary plans show 11 two- and three-story buildings of units, with trees surrounding the property as buffer between neighbors, including residents in the Porters Pointe, Porters Crossing and Marsh Oaks subdivisions. 

The leasing office and amenity area would front Market Street.

According to the developers, the property will only be accessible from Market Street, with a gated emergency route off Brays Drive. The proposal states there will be no through traffic routes through adjacent neighborhoods. The developers are also proposing to cover any needed traffic improvements on Market Street during construction. 

In total, 9 acres are designated open space; the property also accommodates an existing pond, a to-be-constructed stormwater pond, and wetlands along the southern border. 

To accomplish the design, the land will need to undergo a rezoning from New Hanover County. Right now, it is a mix of business, industrial and residential zonings; the developers are requesting the property be converted to RMF-M, medium density multi-family residential. 

The developers are hosting a drop-in community meeting for neighbors of the property from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Aug. 31 at the Lutheran Church of Reconciliation, 7500 Market St. 

Heading into Wilmington city limits, a recent demolition site on the outskirts of downtown may be reborn with a new mixed-use building. 

Wilmington-based JVT Investments, PLLC has submitted plans for a three-story building and adjacent parking lot at 720 Castle Street. CLD Engineering and Hipp Architecture & Development are behind the designs for 1,000 square feet of commercial space on the building’s bottom floor and 10 residential units above it.

The development also comes with an asphalt parking lot behind the building to accommodate seven parking spaces for both residential and commercial use. 

The site plan notes two significant oak trees, one 40-inch diameter and the other 48-inch diameter will need to be removed. Three others clustered at a back corner of the property are marked to be preserved if possible. 

The property at 720 Castle St., now vacant, is part of the downtown Wilmington historic district and one of several in the 500, 600 and 700 blocks being upgraded to modern mixed-use. The building at 618 is in the process of demolition, and three others — 604, 606 and 606 1/2 — are at risk of being destroyed, according to Port City Daily reporting from January. 

The loss of historic properties could jeopardize the district’s historic designation, though the City of Wilmington would need to order an architectural survey to determine the status.

Developers RGC Castle Street LLC purchased 604, 606 and 606 1/2 for $2.25 million in October 2019. The move prompted several small businesses in the area to seek other locations. The parcels are also being turned into mixed-use projects.

In January, the company had plans to construct another three-story building to house six more two-bedroom apartments behind the existing Urban Oasis apartments.

The project at 720 Castle Street is permitted by right, so city staff and council are only charged with ensuring the plans meet land code standards.

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