Friday, August 19, 2022

Wilmington Planning Commission approves CenterPoint, another mixed-use development on Military Cutoff

One day after Wilmington City Council approved The Avenue, the Planning Commission held a public hearing for another, nearly-as-large development -- although this meeting included considerably more positive comments than The Avenue

The Wilmington Planning Commission voted in favor of another mixed-use development on Military Cutoff Road and Eastwood Road Wednesday night (Port City Daily/Courtesy City of Wilmington)
The Wilmington Planning Commission voted in favor of another mixed-use development on Military Cutoff Road Wednesday night. (Port City Daily/Courtesy City of Wilmington)

WILMINGTON—Just one day after City Council approved the 44-acre development known as The Avenue, Wilmington Planning Commission approved another major urban mixed-use development.

Related story: Wilmington City Council gives final approval to The Avenue development on Military Cutoff

The CenterPoint development is a project planned by Swain and Associates located along Eastwood Road and Military Cutoff Road.

CenterPoint is just one of several mixed-use developments that would be located along the corridor between Military Cutoff Road and Eastwood Road. Others include Mayfaire Town Center, Renaissance North, The Avenue, and Arboretum; all within a few miles of each other.

Related story: Coming to Military Cutoff Road: 2 grocery stores, 2 hotels and more than 1,200 apartments

The Planning Commission voted 4-0 to approve the rezoning for the project. The special use permit to allow two buildings to exceed the height requirements in the city up to 75-feet passed with a 3-1 vote.

Prior to the meeting, Vice Chairman Richard Collier and Commissioner Bruce Bowman recused themselves without discussion—possibly because both commissioners are working on the project.

Commissioner Jeffrey Hovis did not attend the meeting.

Chairwoman Deb Hays and commissioners Kemp Roberts, Bruce McGuire and Jeannie Lyle, and all voted in favor of the rezoning. Lyle was the lone dissenting vote against the special use permit.

The planning commission combined both of CenterPoint’s requests into one hearing. Residents were given the opportunity to speak and several residents spoke. In contrast to The Avenue–which garnered mainly public protest and criticism–at the CenterPoint hearing residents spoke both in favor and against the development.

Traffic concerns have been one of the biggest issues residents raised, although several residents pointed out their concerns were for the NCDOT–not Centerpoint’s development team. Several residents also asked for compromise in terms of the project’s density.

David Swain of Swain and Associates said he will move his main offices to the development, and he will try and retain as many of the trees on the property that he can. Trees that have to be removed and provide viable lumber, Swain said he hopes to use them to construct the development.

The project will now move to City Council for approval; an agenda for the upcoming meeting has not yet been released.


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