Sunday, October 2, 2022

50-home community proposed on portion of Trask family empire

Developers hope to bring 50 townhome units to Blue Clay Road. The land is owned by the Trask family, and marks one of many of their holdings in the broad landscape of northern New Hanover County. (Port City Daily/Courtesy New Hanover County)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A proposal to bring 50 townhomes to Trask family land near Blue Clay Road marks the latest in a series of plans to develop portions of the family’s acreage.

The Trasks’ connection with the region dates back to the 1700s. The family was originally known for inventive methods of lettuce farming, and since has bred tycoons in agriculture and real estate.

Wilmington-based consultant Cindee Wolf is the applicant for a conditional rezoning request, in a bid to bring dozens of two-story townhomes to an 8.55-acre parcel just north of the Wilmington International Airport. 

The residential community will sit to the south of a 46-acre subdivision called Rachel’s Place, approved for 154 homes in 2016, also on land previously associated with the Trask family. 

Rachel’s Place, LLC purchased the land for the subdivision for $1.764 million, according to property records, which named Brett Bostic as the registered agent. 

Wolf said Bostic is her client for this most recent deal; he was the developer of Rachel’s place and desires to develop this new subdivision as well, pending the rezoning request. Bostic is married to a member of the Trask family.

Wolf said established access to water and sewer utilities makes the land attractive. The infrastructure was previously extended to accommodate Rachel’s Place. 

“It was a vacant lot fronting Blue Clay Road,” Wolf said. “I think that’s the feasibility, the popularity, of these vacant tracts along Blue Clay, is they have the ability for water and sewer services.” 

More recently, representatives of Trask Land Company vouched for a 500-acre rezoning request to turn former farmland into a residential community with up to 2,617 dwellings. 

To the northeast of the airport is more than 1,000 acres of land held by agents of the family. The size rivals that of ILM. At least 740 acres of the territory has been set aside for a massive development project called Blue Clay Farms, approved in 2006. 

Last December, portions of that land were transferred from family trusts into two different LLCs.

Further north, the Sidbury Road corridor has seen an uptick in interested developers, with 288 apartments proposed last June and an unrelated 300-acre subdivision, Sidbury Farms, initiated in 2019.

The townhomes in the new project will be approximately 1,600-1,800 square feet in size and include garages. According to Wolf, they will be constructed for individual ownership. 

The project will soon be placed on the agenda for a future meeting of the New Hanover County Planning Board.

The runways of the Wilmington International Airport can be seen at the very bottom, and N. College Road runs vertically on the right-hand side. The subject site of the townhomes is marked with the icon. While the homes in the center are not Trask-owned, the majority of the center-top acreage is held by the family. (Port City Daily/ Google Maps)

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