NEW HANOVER COUNTY — More apartments and retail space could soon be on the way to northern New Hanover County as plans have been submitted to the Planning Board for 96 mid-rise apartments and 4,000-square-feet of retail space located at 8814 Market Street.
Before the project can get underway the developer must first get approval from the county to rezone the property from less dense R-15 (residential) and B-1 (business), to CZD MF-M or a conditional zoning district multifamily with medium density.
The project would consist of four, three-story apartment units and a small commercial outparcel, according to the current site plans, and is roughly six acres in size.
Traffic is always a concern of residents when new developments are proposed, especially multifamily units, which is why a traffic impact analysis (TIA) is required for developments that will generate significant trips during peak traffic hours. In New Hanover County, a TIA must be conducted if a project is expected to create more than 100 trips per peak hour. These are studies conducted by engineers and paid for by developers to estimate just how much traffic a new development would create.
This project would get close, but not reach that 100 trips per hour minimum to require the study. According to the application, the development, as currently shown, would create 86 trips during the a.m. peak hour, and 96 trips in the p.m. peak hour. There is a formula the county uses to determine the average number of trips using the gross floor area as well as the number of dwelling units in order to decide if a TIA must be completed.
Currently, the land is mostly vacant and sits just north of the I-140 terminus at Market Street which is a major corridor. That location is part of the applicant’s justification as to why a multifamily development makes more sense than the currently zoned residential single-family uses, claiming that single-family homes are generally less attractive along major thoroughfares.
This is just one of several plans in the works for northern New Hanover County as the region has seen a large growth of rezoning requests and building plans submitted for all types of development.
As required for these types of developments, a community meeting must be held in order to keep neighbors involved in the process and make sure they are aware of what is proposed. This was done at the end of December, and according to the developers.
“A brief presentation was given on the proposed project. Several people were confusing it with the on-going Oaks at Murray Farms petition. It was explained that all traffic from this project would access Hwy. 17 directly. Other concerns were over the drainage that currently traverses the site. That flow will be bi-passed within a piped system in a public drainage easement. Runoff from the subject development will be maintained in an on-site pond meeting the pre- / post- detention requirements,” according to the application.
A full site plan can be viewed below.