WILMINGTON — A major mixed-use development project in the works for the downtown waterfront appears to have taken some cues from the city’s urban designer, but is holding onto some design elements the city wanted to remove.
The seven-story mixed-use “Kettler Wilmington Waterfront” will sit along the Riverwalk, bordered by Harnett and Nutt streets and the future Live Nation area and city’s North Waterfront Park. The project’s two buildings will sit on either side of a promenade along the path of Nutt Street leading into the park; the buildings are joined by a sky-bridge.
Plans submitted to Wilmington on Wednesday by Virginia-based Kettler show the project includes about 275 apartments, along with three retail spaces. Preliminary plans discussed with the city back in November of 2018 showed retail along the interior between the two buildings, but city staff hoped the developer would ditch the sky bridge and bridge retail locations to the exterior corners, creating a ‘gateway’ effect.
While the developer has retained the sky bridge feature, the project now has two retail spots — including one two-story spot – on either side of the entryway to the park at intersection with Harnett St. A third spot will be located at the bottom of Harnett St. where it hits the Riverwalk. The conceptual designs (which are not final construction blueprints) show the ‘gateway’ retail spots as cafe and bistro locations – although these are just conceptual suggestions.
The building will also have around 575 parking spots in a deck located in the building on the western side of the project. Last year, developer Chuck Schoninger, who owns the neighboring Marina Grill and Port City Marina and sold the property to Kettler for the Waterfront property, indicated the project could also include parking for the Marina Grill and a future restaurant also located on the Riverwalk.