Saturday, September 23, 2023

Plans for Hampstead shopping mall submitted to Pender amid court battle with NCDOT

The master development plan for Market Place at the Preserve includes 10 retail buildings, over 1,000 parking spaces, and five outparcels for future development. (Courtesy Pender County Planning Department)

HAMPSTEAD — A master development plan for 230,000 square feet of commercial space was submitted to Pender County planners as national developer Jamestown Properties looks to wrap up a lengthy eminent domain case with the state.

The development plan for Market Place at the Preserve includes 10 retail buildings, 1,045 parking spaces, and five outparcels — lots reserved for future development — totaling 9.6 acres. Including the outparcels, total retail and service space is 344,000 square feet.

READ MORE: Future of major Hampstead development waiting on Map Act case in NC Supreme Court

The development is planned on 53 acres of land along the west side of Highway 17 just north of Topsail High School. A secondary access road is planned to run along the development’s southwestern boundary, providing access to four of the five outparcels.

A trial is tentatively scheduled for May 18 to determine how much the North Carolina Department of Transportation owes Jamestown for a taking of its 676-acre Hampstead property to make way for the future Hampstead Bypass. A May trial will only be set if the N.C. Supreme Court issues an opinion on a similar case in Cumberland County, Chappell v. NCDOT, by the end of February.

As of Thursday morning, the state Supreme Court had not yet issued an opinion on that case.

The by-right development plan was submitted to the county’s planning department on January 17 and was presented before the Technical Review Committee on Wednesday. It is scheduled to appear before the Planning Board on March 4.

The plan includes 1,900 feet of frontage along Highway 17 and 39 acres to be disturbed, with a large portion preserved as wetlands.

Jamestown has been involved in litigation since 2014 against the NCDOT and the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Organization (WMPO) after the latter filed a “protected corridor” map to make way for the future bypass. The map restricted Jamestown’s rights to develop a portion of its property and affected its resale potential.

READ MORE: An overview of the long legal saga surrounding Hampstead’s potential ‘The Preserve’ development

During the Jamestown trial, expert witnesses will be called by both sides to help determine the valuation of the taken property and the amount owed to developers.

[Note: A spokesperson for Jamestown Properties had not yet responded to request for comment at the time for publication; this article will be updated with any additional information from the developer.]

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