Monday, August 15, 2022

Trask Land Company requests rezoning of former gun range for possible commercial space

The site as viewed from United Citizens Bank on Military Cutoff Road. (Port City Daily/Brenna Flanagan).

WILMINGTON — The Mayfaire area could get a little busier if the rezoning of a 4-acre commercial development is approved by the city.

Westfall North, proposed by Trask Land Company, is proposing 175,000 square feet designated for retail, restaurant and office space to be built at 900 Military Cutoff Rd., across the street from Mayfaire Town Center. The land is situated between the neighborhood Lucia Point to its north, and to the south are businesses located in the Renaissance, including United Community Bank and Blaze Pizza. 

The property up for rezoning is part of three parcels owned by Old Maccumber Dump Tract, which belongs to Raiford Trask Jr. The parcels make up around 16 acres of connected land on Old Maccumber Station Road belonging to the company.  

The property is near Wrightsville Beach’s old landfill used during the 1950s. In 2021, the landfill was bought by Legg Properties with the intention to provide a commercial space for businesses.

Trask’s land was formerly used for a shooting range for the Wilmington Gun Club until the 1980s. A connected parcel, not up for rezoning, is described as “Ammo Dump Lake” in county property records. 

A 2019 North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality report cited 270 tons of hazardous lead have impacted the former gun range’s soil and 8 acres of wetlands. The department has been conducting remedial action on the site since the early 2000s.

In 2004, one parcel was transferred to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for $0, but another transaction in 2006 shows the property was sold for $1.3 million. The city obtained the property in 2007 for an undisclosed amount. 

According to the application submitted to the Wilmington Planning Commission, the developer is requesting a rezoning from the property’s current single-family residential (R-15) and office and institutional (O&I) to community business (CB). 

Around 10,000 square feet will be dedicated to general office space and 5,000 to retail and restaurants, according to the application. 

The rezoning submission as pointed out in Trask Land Company’s application.

The city’s land development code states CB districts are intended for retail, office and personal services adjacent to residential neighborhoods. It would be a less intense rezoning than O&I, reserved for professional offices, medical centers and places of assembly, but more intense than the residential zoning of the property and surrounding neighborhoods (areas to the south are also zoned CB)

The application states Westfall North will have “little impact on adjacent neighbors.” 

As far as privacy concerns, the site already has a buffer with Lucia Point — a 6-foot privacy fence — but will construct an additional one. 

The application also states the traffic impacts will be “minimal.” The entrance to the site will be accessible only through right turns in and out. 

In line with the land code and Create Wilmington Comprehensive Plan, the development plans to provide “walkable services” connecting neighborhoods with Military Cutoff commerce. It will also utilize the paved access to the Military Cutoff section of the Cross City Trail already present onsite. Per the code, CB districts are also intended to “create convenient, walkable nodes that serve the day-to-day needs of nearby residents.”

Trask Land Company’s New Hanover County portfolio includes The Renaissance and the mixed-use community Autumn Hall, as well as with Blue Clay Farms. 

Port City Daily reached out to the company with questions about what they envision of businesses located on the property; the article will be updated when and if the company responds. 

The project is set for discussion at the planning commission’s next meeting on July 6. 


Reach journalist Brenna Flanagan at brenna@localdailymedia.com 

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