Saturday, April 13, 2024

Wilmington developments to watch: Wrightsville townhomes, Lake Avenue duplexes

(Port City Daily/Alexandria Sands)

WILMINGTON — Two developments are under review before climbing the ranks to be heard by the planning board.

Largely infill projects — repurposing underutilized land in the county — both developments are multi-family dwellings, one from a well-known developer in the area. Combined, they will bring 40 more units to the market. 

Here is a look:

Wrightsville Townes 

The development would surround two single-family homes on Park Avenue on three sides. (Courtesy Zimmer Development Company).

More than three acres in Wilmington could be reserved for 32 townhomes at 5500 Wrightsville Avenue. 

Zimmer Development Company, behind Wilmington multi-family developments Mayfaire Townview and Belle Meade, have submitted plans for eight buildings, each 3,374 square feet, situated between Wrightsville and Park avenues. The development would surround two single-family homes on Park Avenue on three sides; Park Avenue Baptist Church is across the street and a mobile home park flanks the tract’s other side. 

The buildings would host eight two-bedroom units and 24 three bedrooms. The development needs at least 70 parking spaces and the developer included 79 in its plans. Zimmer is also proposing 15 bicycle spaces, five more than the required amount. Drivers will reach the property via access points on either side of the two single-family homes facing Park Avenue.

According to the site plan, an average of 230 daily trips on Park Avenue will be generated by the development.

The townhomes are permitted by right because the property is zoned as a high-density multiple-dwelling residential district (MD-17), which allows up to 17 units per acre.

According to the city’s land use code, the MD-17 district is intended for the “urban core of the city and other areas with a full range of amenities and commercial services” as well as provide different housing forms in a “compact urban environment through redevelopment, infill on relatively small sites, and within mixed-use areas.”

The parcel is a wooded area and the developers will need to clear more than 200 pine and hardwood trees to make room for the townhomes. According to the site plan, only 45 trees of those will be mitigated, however, around 150 trees will remain and be protected.

According to land development code requirements, 20% of the property will need to be dedicated to open space. Zimmer is going a few thousand square feet above that requirement at 29,453

The site was reviewed by the city’s technical review committee and will be submitted to the planning board for a vote.

The Oaks on Lake

The land is nudged between Roland-Grise Middle School, The Learning Center and single-family residences. (Courtesy Stroud Engineering).

A new development off College Road will offer eight three-bedroom units. The Oaks on Lake, submitted for technical review by Stroud Engineering, includes four two-story duplexes on 1.42 acres of land on Lake Avenue. Each duplex will be 6,688 square feet, separated by parking lots offering 20 spaces for the site.

Residents will access the property via one entry and exit point off Lake Avenue and 76 average daily trips are expected to be added to that road at buildout.

The land is nudged between Roland-Grise Middle School, The Learning Center and single-family residences. The site is overgrown and a vacant home built in the 1950s is to be demolished by the developers. 

Brian Fleer, who works for the owners of the project, told Port City Daily the units will be offered at market rate, yet whether they would be rented or sold has not been determined.

“Practically, it would be a pretty good range of young families and seniors,” he said. 

He said the townhomes would be a good fit for people living with an older family member with the separation of the upstairs and downstairs in each unit.

The site has already undergone a conditional rezoning from single-family residential (R-15) to multi-family (MD-10), which allows up to 10 units per acre. The multi-family zoning is intended to provide “moderate multiple dwelling density living environments near services, as well as transitional residential development between lower-intensity residential neighborhoods and nonresidential activity areas.” 

Another duplex development is located across the street.

“It is a neighborhood in transition and I think people know that,” he said. “I think this is an example of good planning.” 

The biggest issue nearby neighbors flagged was the preservation of the property’s three oak trees, which will all be saved. The developers also hired arborist Joshua Tree of Wilmington to help with on-site tree protection. The site plan notes one significant tree, a 12-inch-diameter magnolia, will need to be removed and mitigated with eight replacement trees. 

Open space requirements call for 35% of the property to be reserved; the developers are providing 30,000 square feet, or a little more than half an acre. Recreation space will make up 50% of that acreage.


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