Tuesday, July 23, 2024

New commercial site with restaurant, retail coming to Castle Hayne Road

The area of the an eight-unit flex commercial space, to welcome retail and a restaurant, as well as the homebase for Rainstorm Solutions, passed a rezoning from the county commissioners Monday. (Courtesy New Hanover County)

WILMINGTON — As developments continue to pepper available land on Castle Hayne Road, a 5-acre site has been approved for retail services for residents in the area.

READ MORE: YMCA seeks rezoning of 53 acres in northern part of county

The county commissioners approved a 19,150-square-foot development, proposed by Rainstorm Water Solutions, owned by Bill Aldridge. Cindee Wolf, representing Littlebird Properties LLC, said the entrepreneur wishes to own his own real estate for the business.

Rainstorms will utilize 7,100 square feet fo office space, garage and storage in one structure. Another will make up a 12,500 square foot flex space, to bring in an additional eight units to the site. Included is a potential 3,000-square-foot restaurant.

The parcel is split-zoned — neighborhood business and residential. It’s near a potential new fire station in the Wrightsboro area as well as Haven Place housing development from Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity. The applicant requested to rezone the site conditional business district

This will allow for other services to be brought into the area. In addition to housing Rainstorm — which helps municipalities and commercial residential developers use innovative sustainable water practices — a 3,000 square-foot restaurant is part of the plan.

Port City Daily reached out to Aldridge to ask if a restaurateur was already involved in the upcoming project; a response was not received by press.

Permitted uses of the commercial services are limited to:

  • Animal grooming/veterinary (kennel or daycare prohibited)
  • Business service center
  • Contractor’s office
  • Private businesses and professional activities, excluding tattoo parlors
  • Instructional Services and studios
  • General, retail sales
  • Restaurant

“This project can enhance the variety of services in the area of the county where more residential development has been occurring and is imminent,” Wolf told commissioners Monday.

Site plan of the development. (Courtesy New Hanover County)

In recent months, many developments have been approved along the Castle Hayne corridor, including 128 units of workforce housing behind New Beginnings Church, as well as 68 units of affordable senior housing. This adds to 24 affordable homes from Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity on Rockhill Road.

The site was heard in front of the planning board on May 2. Only one person spoke out in favor; Jeff Simmons said he represented neighbors nearby in Swartville. The name was given in homage to D. Swart that owned Cape Fear Dairy, once located in the area. The site abuts to Swartville Road.

Simmons said the area is overlooked by some of the county when it comes to connection to water and sewer. 

“We welcome the development of that property and look forward to seeing more clean development throughout the Castle Hayne, northern Wilmington,” he said. “We have well water and septic, where everything has been developed around us to have services being provided by the county of developer and this is really a request to help guide our little community into the 21st century.”

Wolf said Cape Fear Habitat has a gravity system and low-pressure system for Rainstorm to hook into and won’t be well or septic. However, she said the services wouldn’t be available to Simmons’ community.

“What occurs in these situations is that it’s the developers that are putting in the water and sewer for their needs under their costs, that those get turned over to the public to the CFPUA ultimately,” Wolf said. “I think to get water and sewer to your communities, it’s certainly possible, but it would take your community running it out to where then the public lines actually are.”

Right now, a house is on the property, to be relocated, Wolf said, for adaptive reuse.

“I think it’s good for the community,” planning board member Kevin Hine said. “It fits into what’s going on in the Castle Hayne corridor.”

Little traffic impact was calculated with 85 morning and 53 nighttime trips, falling under the 100 that would prompt a traffic impact analysis.

The planning board passed it unanimously with conditions. They include: 

  • Allowance of pedestrian access from Haven Place to the proposed flex space
  • Vegetation to meet an opaque buffer along the southern portion of the parcel surrounding adjacent areas
  • 50-foot buffer stream between the structures and Ness Creek Tributary
  • No storage or contractor’s office would not be allowed east of the tributary

Commissioners passed the rezoning unanimously Monday as well.

Tips or comments? Email info@localdailymedia.com

Want to read more from PCD? Subscribe now and then sign up for our newsletter, Wilmington Wire, and get the headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.

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.

Related Articles