Friday, June 14, 2024

Developer requesting a change to initial permit to allow for more traffic at Renaissance Market

The new request would allow for even more traffic coming and going from the new development

Renaissance Market will be home to Earth Fare, Blaze Pizza, and West Marine (Port City Daily photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)
Renaissance Market will be home to Earth Fare, Blaze Pizza, and West Marine. (Port City Daily photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)

WILMINGTON — Over the course of a year the City of Wilmington gave the green light to several mixed-use developments that will add thousands of more vehicles on the already overburdened Military Cutoff Road — now, the developer behind Renaissance Market is asking the city to allow it even more trips than originally approved.

Related: City approves rezoning for new development on Military Cutoff called Renaissance North

Construction is already underway on the development, the new Earth Fare grocery store opens this week, and now the developer is hoping to replace a planned restaurant with a drive-through coffee shop; the change would have a greater impact on traffic than the originally planned.

Traffic Impact Analysis

For major projects that will likely have an impact on traffic, the City of Wilmington requires a traffic impact analysis (TIA) be completed by traffic engineers.

The City of Wilmington granted the project a conditional use permit that allowed the maximum trip threshold 85-percent of the approved TIA, the request would increase that to 91-percent.

While it would still not exceed the maximum threshold approved in the TIA, it would add a significant number of trips in and out of the development. In a 24-hour period, the TIA called for a maximum of 6,786 trips.

Previously, the development claimed it would only reach 85-percent of that or 5,768 trips. Now, that number would increase to 6,175 or 91-percent of the maximum approved trips.

According to the application, the addition of a coffee shop would be beneficial for nearby residents and employees who would not have to leave the development and get onto Military Cutoff Road for coffee.

There are already a number of coffee shops located within a small radius along Military Cutoff Road including several Starbucks Coffee, a Dunkin’ Donuts, and other breakfast locations.

“A coffee/donut shop with drive-thru is causing the increase in the total daily trip threshold, however, we believe will be a valuable addition to the shopping center … This development will provide needed amenities fore the Forum/Renaissance Courtyard, and Renaissance North as well as residents outside the immediate vicinity who appreciate the nature of the goods and services offered,” according to the request.

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