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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

250 apartments with workforce housing planned outside Porters Neck

The proposed site plan for Abberly of Wilmington.

WILMINGTON —  A Southeast developer has set sights on the Bayshore area, but will need an annexation and rezoning to accomplish its goals. 

READ MORE: Over 1,700 new homes proposed for Sidbury Road

HHHunt is looking to build 253 apartment units, named Abberly of Wilmington, at 7725, 7729, 7731 and 7753 Alexander Road, parcels that together make up almost 20 acres off Market Street. While the majority of the property will be dedicated to one, two and three-bedroom market-rate units, 10% of the units will be dedicated to workforce housing.

The development was submitted to the Wilmington Design Adjustment Committee for review on March 20. 

The application notes the proposal will require annexation into city limits, then a rezoning to the city’s MD-17 district for high-density multiple-dwelling residential. Per state law, annexations are only permitted when property owners petition for their land to be annexed; municipalities cannot formally initiate or force the action.

Three property owners are listed as applicants — Paula Honeycutt of Hampstead, Eduardo Zavala of Alexander Road and Turtle Trail Holdings. The property currently hosts a 13-unit manufactured home development.

From the design adjustment committee, the developer is asking for relief from the maximum distance allowed from a public street. For multi-dwelling developments containing more than 50 units, no principle building should be more than 500 feet away from a public street; the applicant states their building will be no more than 800 feet away to accommodate the property’s narrow and deep layout.

The developer is also asking for relief from the limit on private driveway lengths, exceeding it from 500 feet maximum to 800 feet. HHHunt is proposing three access points, two from Alexander Road, and one into the adjacent Alexander Place neighborhood reserved for emergency vehicles and resident exit only. 

The application states morning peak hour traffic trips are expected to reach 101 trips, evening trips reaching 129.

The application notes the development will also be gated. Surrounding properties include single-family homes to the east, vacant wooded land to the rear, and Coastal Community Baptist Church to the west. 

Per the site plan, the 253 units will be spread across six, four-story buildings clustered in the back half of the property, with a clubhouse, pool and leasing office placed at the front; building coverage makes up 13.4% of the property overall. 

The density of the property is 13.2 units per acre, while the allowed amount is 17 per acre under MD-17. One-bedroom units will make up 103 units, two-bedrooms will total 119, and three-bedrooms number six units.

The workforce housing component will dedicate 25 units to middle-income workers that make too much for government assistance but not enough to afford market-rate rent in Wilmington.

Parking spaces total 473 and some of those spots appear reserved for boats. The majority, 423, are surface parking spaces, but 36 spaces will be in garages, six of which are listed on the site plan, and 14 are labeled “boat spaces.” 

Around 26% of the property will be dedicated and 345 trees out of 733 surveyed will be removed from the property; 310 of the trees are regulated, though the site plan notes these are exempt from mitigation due to their location within essential site improvements.

The design adjustment committee is charged with ensuring the requests meet the intent of the land development code, conforms with the city’s comprehensive plans and other applicable plans, avoids increasing congestion or compromise safety, and does not create any lots without direct street frontage.  


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