Friday, August 12, 2022

94 units, 1 restaurant: Brooklyn Arts District could see another apartment complex

The Helm south elevation design. (Courtesy CSD Engineering).

WILMINGTON — Almost 100 units are under review for a new development that could bring more growth to 4th Street in downtown Wilmington. 

The 0.71-acre property, dubbed “The Helm,” would add 25,000 square feet of multi-family mixed-use space to the Brooklyn Arts District. The developers are proposing 23 two-bedroom, 59 one-bedroom and 12 studio units.

The five-floor building would dedicate its main level  for commercial use, including a 1,500-square-foot restaurant. 

Currently owned by North 4th Partners, the land at 1010 N. 4th St. is zoned in the central business district. A rezoning would not be needed for the project. 

Designing The Helm is CSD Engineering, a developer for several other Wilmington projects including The Friends School of Wilmington, Tarin Woods subdivision and Bald Head Island Town Hall. 

If approved, the complex would be located four blocks from Live Oak Bank Pavilion. The 7,000-seat outdoor amphitheater has propelled growth and business in the Brooklyn Arts District since opening a year ago. 

Jennifer Concklin, who owns the restaurant three10, located a block from where The Helm is being proposed, thinks the addition is a positive step to continue fostering the N. 4th identity. 

“Definitely, we are still a destination, in that, not a ton of folks are just parking and walking along N. 4th,” Concklin said. “We’re hoping to change that.”

Still, she has concerns, specifically about having enough parking so her customers can find a spot at three10. The area offers free off-street parking.

CBD zoned properties are not required to provide parking; The Helm’s design only includes 54 residential spaces, with another 40 dedicated for the incoming restaurant. 

In Concklin’s opinion, this proposal is a great opportunity for a developer to construct a parking lot to accommodate the influx of people in the area.

The apartment building is one in a string of high-end residential developments in the area that have been built over the last few years.  

Pier 3, Sawmill Point and Flats on Front — located four blocks from BAD, near the pavilion — opened to renters over the last five years. Cumulatively, it brought over 800 apartments to the area.

City Block Apartments, built in 2014 between 3rd and 4th, is the largest complex in the immediate vicinity, featuring 112 apartments. It announced an expansion last year that would include a second phase of construction with 56 more apartments built near Bladen and 4th.

Documents on the technical review committee site didn’t list proposed rates for The Helm. Rents at nearby developments range from $1,200-$2,900.

As for The Helm’s restaurant space, it will be joining the growing number of food and drink in the area, including three10, which opened in fall 2021. Also located nearby is Angus Grill, Boombalatti’s Homemade Ice Cream, Palate and Don Luca Pizzeria, while further south on the block is Bottega, Goat and Compass, The Commodore and Edward Teach.

Concklin said she hopes it attracts more boutiques and art spaces, “to kind of develop the district so that we’re comparable to the Cargo District or Soda Pop — building Brooklyn Arts District into a true district.”


Reach journalist Brenna Flanagan at brenna@localdailymedia.com 

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