Monday, June 24, 2024

Carolina Beach approves Federal Point development over Harris Teeter’s objections

The Town of Carolina Beach's first Town Council meeting of 2018 drew dozens of residents to speak on several important issues facing the community (Port City Daily photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)
The Town of Carolina Beach’s first Town Council meeting of 2018 drew dozens of residents to speak on several important issues facing the community (Port City Daily photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)

CAROLINA BEACH — The first meeting of 2018 for Carolina Beach’s Town Council brought big news for the town — Town Council approved a conditional use permit for the redevelopment of the Federal Point Shopping Center. In doing so, the town has cast doubt on the future of the proposed Harris Teeter located on Lake Park Boulevard.

The issue comes down in large part to interconnectivity — being able to drive from one development to the next directly, through a parking lot, instead of having to return to a main road first.

Dueling developments

The request from Carolina Beach Development Company 1 LLC would allow for the demolition of all existing structures on the property, and for the property to be redeveloped into a new shopping center, anchored by a new 51,469-square-foot grocery store.

The original development was built in 1984 and consisted of a movie theater as well as shopping center; it currently has 10 existing businesses and four vacant storefronts, as well as the vacant movie theater.

Gordon Kolb Jr. of GHK Developments said that developments of this size take about 10-12 months to complete and would bring approximately 1,000 construction jobs to the area and anywhere from 100-125 would be employed in the grocery store.

While the fate of the current tenants of the shopping center is not yet know, Kolb said once the plan is approved, he plans on working with each tenant to provide potential storefronts in the new development.

While Kolb did not name the tenant that would anchor the shopping center, he did say that the grocer recently opened, or is in the process of opening stores in Wilmington, Oak Island, Surf City, and Ogden; Publix was the most recent grocery store to open in the Ogden area, and a Publix store is under construction in Surf City.

Interconnectivity between the already approved Harris Teeter store which is to be located on property adjacent to Federal Point Shopping Center is a point of contention for the developer, as well as Harris Teeter.

Related: Carolina Beach Harris Teeter update: no comment

Kolb said the tenant for the new grocery store location would not be willing to allow interconnectivity with a direct competitor. State Senator Michael Lee, of the Lee Law Firm, spoke on behalf of Harris Teeter, and was surprisingly in favor of the new shopping center and grocery store — provided the council required the unnamed grocery store to provide interconnectivity to Harris Teeter.

If the current plan for Federal Point Shopping Center is approve by Carolina Beach, the mall could be razed to make way for new stores, including a grocery store. (Port City Daily photos / MICHAEL KANE)
The Federal Point Shopping Center currently has several vacant store fronts (Port City Daily photos / MICHAEL KANE)

Although the Harris Teeter has been in the works for several years, construction has yet to begin, but Lee said development was planned to move forward this year. However, Lee said if this plan was approved without interconnectivity, it would essentially throw out plans for the Harris Teeter.

The approved Harris Teeter would consist of a nearly 60,000-square-foot grocery store that would include a coffee shop as well as fuel center.

The motion to approve the conditional use permit was approved unanimously.

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