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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

With more homes than RiverLights and Landfall, Surf City development underway

The development is approved to contain 3,200 residential units on 195-acres of purchased land on a 240-acre rezoned tract

SURF CITY—With one-fifth of the amount of land of RiverLights, a master community in Surf City could pack in 3,200 single-family homes.

Waterside, to be located on a 240-acre tract, will contain several neighborhoods and serve as a community within a community.

RELATED: City Council voted for River Place land grab, now three lawsuits could cost Wilmington

While individual neighborhoods are being approved incrementally by Surf City, the project recently received a $2.5 million loan from Trez Forman Capital, a Florida-based commercial mortgage lender.

The total purchase price of 195 acres of the rezoned land was $6.25 million, according to Eric Kalis, spokesperson for Trez Forman Capital. It was purchased by Surf City LLC, an Alabama-based company.

To our knowledge, they’re covering the rest of the purchase themselves,” Kalis said. “That’s a fairly standard loan to value ratio for something like this.”

The plan

In 2015, Surf City Town Council approved the rezoning of the 240-acre tract on Belt Road from residential to a Planned Unit Development. It was pitched as a “community within itself” that would contain over 3,200 residential units and four acres of commercial property.

Waterside is approved for at least 400 more units than RiverLights and 1,500 more units than Landfall on significantly less land.

With a blend of single and multi-family units, the development would contain 13.5 units per acre. Compared to RiverLights and Landfall, which span at least 1,160 and 1,960 more acres than Waterside, the Surf City community will be densely packed. 

When the development was approved to be rezoned, Dave Weeks of Paramount Engineering called the 240-acre tract the “last remaining large tract available in the town.”

Developers have been working with North Carolina Department of Transportation to construct a new intersection containing a 60-foot right of way which connects to Highway NC-50.

Though residents brought up concerns about stormwater runoff polluting the adjacent bay, Surf City Council approved the project. In 2017, the town’s planning director Todd Rademacher told the Surf City Planning Board that the project’s stormwater system would lead into ponds that would “serve as neighborhood amenities.”

Because the homes within the project will be built “one at a time,” Kalis estimates Surf City Properties LLC will likely not need to take out another large loan to complete the project.

Surf City LLC is currently in contract to sell 170 lots to D.R. Horton, a national new-home builder.

“(The owners) haven’t indicated a specific timeline,” Kalis said. “They’re in a position where they can build right away.”

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