Thursday, June 13, 2024

Hospitality group that bought SeaWitch requests rezonings for multipurpose development

Harmony Hospitality owns Cloud 9 and Embassy Suites in downtown Wilmington and is asking the Town of Carolina Beach for a conditional rezoning for six properties to bring a multipurpose development. (Courtesy Google Maps)

CAROLINA BEACH — A Virginia-based hotel management company that purchased SeaWitch Cafe and Tiki Bar at the beginning of the year is hosting a community meeting in regards to a rezoning request.

READ MORE: SeaWitch Tiki Bar purchased by Cloud 9, Embassy Suites owners

Harmony Hospitality owns Cloud 9 and Embassy Suites in downtown Wilmington and is asking the Town of Carolina Beach for a conditional rezoning for six properties to bring a multipurpose development. According to a community meeting notice a Harmony representative sent to Port City Daily, the request is necessary for a hotel, restaurant and parking.

Harmony Hospitality President Page Johnson II acquired 223, 225, and 227 Carolina Beach Ave. on Jan. 12, 2024 from P Pottamus Properties LLC. The SeaWitch Cafe and Tiki Bar is located there and includes adjacent parking. The purchase was for $2.6 million, according to New Hanover County property records.

Johnson and his wife took funds from the sale of property owned in Florida to invest in the SeaWitch, company spokesperson Brooks Johnson told PCD earlier this month. Johnson confirmed then there were no major changes planned for the bar and restaurant.

“Just minor repairs and maintenance as needed,” he said. “So far as the aesthetic, we like it just the way it is!”

Johnson did not respond to PCD’s followup questions Tuesday, including whether the SeaWitch will remain, amid news of the potential redevelopment.

The other three properties involved in the rezoning include 235, 237 and 239 Carolina Beach Ave. They’re owned by Carolina Beach Hospitalities LLC, purchased for $2.1 million in 2014 from CBP3, the Town of Carolina Beach’s nonprofit entity.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Ten years ago Carolina Beach got into the hotel industry. Residents are still paying for it

PCD asked Harmony if the development was a joint venture with Carolina Beach Hospitalities LLC but also didn’t receive an answer by press.

A public notice has been sent to surrounding neighbors regarding the community meeting — to be held at Community Life Center, 300 Harper Ave., on March 7, 6 p.m. It will include a presentation about the conditional rezoning request and questions will be answered.

Currently, the properties are zoned central business district, normally used for retail, business, office, professional financial, and entertainment, located near the heart of the town’s tourism area. The parcels up for rezoning are surrounded by small independent motels, including the SeaWitch Inn, across from the cafe and tiki bar (owned by Pham Tinh Quang) and The Savannah Inn a block north at 310 Carolina Beach Ave. N.

A block south at 1 Harper Ave. is the larger conglomerate Hampton Inn Suites, while further south is a Courtyard by Marriott.


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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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