Monday, July 22, 2024

Military Cutoff Road traffic gets an ‘F,’ but developer says its project trumps that

The developer for the proposed Arboretum Village Mixed-Use Development tells the city that the merits of the proposed development mitigate additional traffic it would create on Military Cutoff Road.

The site of the former Wheel Estates is proposed to be the new home for a mixed-use development (Port City Daily photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)
The site of the former Wheel Estates is proposed to be the new home for a mixed-use development (Port City Daily photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)

WILMINGTON — Plans have been submitted for two new mixed-use developments off Military Cutoff Road and Station Road making it one of several plans for high-density developments within a small corridor of Wilmington.

The new developments would be known as Arboretum Village and would be located on the previous locations of Wheel Estates I and II,  two mobile home parks that were recently closed.

Arboretum Village would be located at 294 Military Cutoff Road and 101-136 West Westwood Drive and 108 Station Road. The first location on Military Cutoff Road would consist of 9.40-acres of land, the second location would be considerably larger and consist of 19.84-acres.

According to the rezoning application, Arboretum Village would, “Include 360 multifamily apartments, boutique retail, fine dining, office space and a coffee shop.”

One of many

On the map: Locations of mixed use developments already built, already approved, or proposed for Military Cutoff Road. Click on the markers for detailed information.

This proposal is just one of several mixed-use developments along Military Cutoff Road starting at Eastwood Road and continuing North to Market Street.

The Avenue, a 44-acre project that was planned for Military Cutoff Road would also require the rezoning of property and the razing of 63 mobile home units in the Hidden Lakes Mobile Home Park, located at 565 Military Cutoff Road. Plans for The Avenue were recently withdrawn from the city planning department after receiving negative recommendations from city staff. There is still a potential the developer will resubmit plans for the development.

In July, Swain and Associates requested rezoning for a 23-acre mixed use development located on property straddling Military Cutoff Road and Eastwood Road. The development would consist of a seven-story full service hotel, apartments, retail space, medical space, and office space.

On July 18, City Council voted to approve the rezoning of a nearly seven-acre development which will be called Renaissance North and consist of a grocery store, restaurants, a 200-room hotel, and more office space.

What about traffic?

Traffic on Military Cutoff Road is over the reasonable capacity, according to the developer for the proposed Arboretum Village Mixed-Use Development, but its filings state the merits of the proposed development mitigate any additional traffic it would bring to Military Cutoff Road.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation uses a letter grading system to determine the level of service at which a roadway operates.

“Traffic counts provided for the section of Military Cutoff Road in the vicinity of the proposed rezoning are presently found to be in excess of its reasonable capacity, translating into an ‘F’ service level,” according to submitted documents from the developer to the city.

According to the company’s justification for impact to overcapacity status of Military Cutoff Road, there are five reasons the developer believes the Arboretum Village should be approved.

  • The proposed rezoning would allow for a more viable land use and is consistent with City Council’s economic development priorities. This proposal improves the form and function of an underutilized site and maximizes land use efficiency based on area characteristics such as existing infrastructure, adjacent uses, unique site characteristics, needs of the community and geographic location.
  • The site is located along an established transit route. A WAVE transit route passes directly along the frontage and provides easy access to the Fordham Station for transfers throughout the system.
  • The proposed rezoning would ensure a more efficient development pattern relative to a mix of uses in a conditional district that incorporates compatible uses.
  • The impact of any additional traffic generated by the proposed rezoning would be mitigated by the currently ongoing NCDOT transportation improvement project to extend Military Cutoff Road to the I‐140 Bypass and create an elevation departed interchange at the Market Street crossing.
  • The project is a redevelopment of a previously developed site and would result in improved site conditions relative to stormwater management, landscaping and aesthetics.

The timeline for the proposed development is not yet known, and the request has not yet been placed on the city’s Technical Review Committee’s agenda. Port City Daily will follow the rezoning

Arboretum Village rezoning request by Michael James on Scribd

Arboretum pt 2 documents by Michael James on Scribd

Michael Praats can be reached at

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