Saturday, January 28, 2023

New restaurant proposed for longtime vacant convenience store in Wrightsville Beach

The property has sat vacant for several years after town leaders have denied several requests for rezoning and conditional uses. Now, property owners are hoping to turn the former store into a restaurant.

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — A building that has sat vacant along West Salisbury Street in Wrightsville Beach could soon be getting a makeover, turning the former convenience store into a restaurant with commercial pier – but similar requests in the past have not gone over well with the town’s Board of Aldermen.

Located at 100 West Salisbury Street is the home of a long-closed Scotchman store, which was built around 1971 and has sat vacant for several years.

The Town of Wrightsville Beach Board of Alderman have repeatedly denied requests to redevelop the property, including a request for a conditional use permit in 2014 for a mixed-use development, and a rezoning request that was turned down in 2015.

The building located at 100 West Salisbury Street in Wrightsville Beach has been vacant for several years (Port City Daily photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)
The building located at 100 West Salisbury Street in Wrightsville Beach has been vacant for several years (Port City Daily photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)

In 2015, property owners requested rezoning the land to a residential district. Planning staff gave an unfavorable recommendation to the request citing the need for redevelopment of commercial property as well as the reduction of a commercial tax base.

Now, property owners WB Watermen LLC have requested a conditional use permit to renovate the building and operate a restaurant out of the location.

According to documents submitted to the town, the restaurant would offer both interior and exterior seating for a total of 33 seats for occupants. There would also be a new commercial pier built with nine boat slips.

Now, planning staff has recommended the Board of Alderman consider a favorable recommendation for the conditional use permit.

According to plans submitted by the property owners, “The new restaurant and boat docks will offer a drastic improvement to the existing property, which has been vacant for many years. Creating a family-oriented, community gathering place will enliven the area and increase property values within the neighborhood. Properties in the immediate vicinity will not only maintain the use and enjoyment of their properties but will find enhanced uses and opportunities.”

The restaurant would stop serving alcohol by 11 p.m., and seating would end at 10 p.m. Wrightsville Beach’s Planning Board will meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. to discuss the rezoning request, and the town’s Board of Aldermen have an item on its agenda to set a public hearing for April.

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