Thursday, September 28, 2023

More than 500 apartments, more housing coming to NHC

Both phases of the Blue Clay Tract planned development at the intersection of Blue Clay and Holly Shelter roads.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Two high-density housing developments are planned to further fill out two of the county’s regions experiencing high growth. 

Another development — this one 72 apartment units — is planned for Carolina Beach Road, following over five planned projects on the road over the last three months. 


Over 500 units of varying types are planned for Blue Clay Road on 72 undeveloped acres in the county’s northern region.

Developers from both projects are welcoming public feedback in the next week in preparation for presentation to the New Hanover County planning board. 

Blue Clay Tract

A 70-acre development featuring a range of housing is on the way to north Wilmington, one of the area’s fastest growing regions. 

Popular Wilmington company Paramounte Engineering Inc. and Stout Operating

Firm, owned by Watson Bryant, is proposing 500-plus homes on the corner of Holly Shelter and Blue Clay roads in Castle Hayne. 

The development’s site plan includes 240 apartment units and 288 cottages on undeveloped land. In 2019, the two parcels were transferred from Patricia Roseman to Holly Tank LLC and Blue Tank LLC. 

The majority of the site is zoned light industrial with the road frontage along Blue Clay zoned R-15 for low-density residential. Paramounte Engineering is seeking to downzone the property, located near S&W Ready Mix Concrete and Adams Products Oldcastle, to residential multi-family low density to “allow a range of product types” — including apartments, single-family homes, townhomes and duplexes. 

The development will be completed in two phases, one for the apartment buildout and the other for the cottage parcel. The preliminary site plan shows 10 apartment buildings, each two to three stories with 24 units each. The buildings are situated in a square formation around open space along Holly Shelter Road. 

Behind it, phase two will be completed. Townhomes, duplexes and single-family homes are planned, also situated in groups around open space. 

One access point is located off Holly Shelter Road, two more off Blue Clay Road. All parking will be placed along internal streets.

The development’s parcels also contain wetlands, which weave through the heart of the neighborhood. The cottage buildings are arranged in close proximity, yet avoid  the wetlands — for the most part. The site plan notes three areas where the wetlands may be impacted. 

The developers will need to acquire permits from either the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management to build on any wetlands. 

Paramounte Engineering will hold an open-house style community meeting for nearby neighbors on March 9 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Spiffy On-Demand Care at 5656 Barbados Blvd. in Castle Hayne. 

Palm Grove Apartments 

The Palm Grove Apartments planned development at 6634 Carolina Beach Road.

A withdrawn rezoning petition attached to a 72-unit project from last year will return in revised form soon. 

Cindee Wolf with Design Solutions is proposing an apartment housing project at 6634 Carolina Beach Road,  introduced to the planning board in December. After public feedback, the developers withdrew the project in favor of returning it with six fewer units early this year. 

“In addition to the common questions about traffic and stormwater impacts — both of which are governed by extensive regulations and permitting — surrounding residents were averse to the increased housing density,” Wolf stated in the community meeting notice to residents.”

At the public hearing, nearby residents expressed concerns about the impacts of the high-density project on traffic, stormwater and privacy of nearby properties. 

“The area is designed for families,” Lords Creek resident Nancy Steele said at the Dec. 1 meeting. “An apartment building with compatibility for four stories, I don’t think that’s what I want to look at when I go out of my front door.”

While the reduction was only slight, the units are now spread across smaller buildings. The site plan shows six three-story buildings with 12 units each. The buildings are arranged around an open space area, with parking encircling the exterior of the buildings. The property, which is surrounded by single-family homes, has one access point off Carolina Beach Road. 

The 4.65-acre property is owned by Giovanni Ippolito, a resident of New York who made the purchase in 2021 for $450,000. Design Solutions is asking the county to place a conditional zoning on the property, which is R-15 for low-density residential now, to allow an exception for the high-density housing. 

Instead of holding a second community meeting — the first being for the previous project iteration — Wolf is taking questions and comments at 910-620-2374 and cwolf@dobodemar.biz ahead of the project’s public hearing at the planning board meeting on March 2. 


Reach journalist Brenna Flanagan at brenna@localdailymedia.com 

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