Tuesday, March 21, 2023

No. 10 top story of 2012: Trader Joe’s, Chipotle add to burgeoning Oleander Drive corridor

Construction is underway on a Chipotle restaurant—the Port City’s first—in the parking lot of the Whole Foods shopping center on Oleander Drive. The building is one of many under construction or planned throughout the Wilmington area. Photo by Jonathan Spiers.

Editor’s note: As we approach 2013, we’re taking a look back at our top stories of 2012. From Friday, Dec. 28, through New Year’s Day, we will publish the top 20 stories since Port City Daily’s launch in September. Port City Daily’s top stories were determined by readership. The story below was first published Nov. 5.

More shops and restaurants are on their way to Wilmington, including two notable names, adding to what continues to be a burgeoning Oleander Drive corridor.

At the end of this month, Trader Joe’s will open its doors at the northeast corner of Oleander and College Road. The specialty grocery store, which follows Whole Foods just blocks up the corridor, is accepting applications from prospective employees and has scheduled an opening Nov. 30.

Up Oleander closer to Hanover Center, where anchor Harris Teeter has upgraded its store to compete with the nearby specialty chains, construction has begun on a new Chipotle restaurant—another first for the Wilmington area—in the same shopping center next to Independence Mall where Whole Foods opened earlier this year.

The popular Mexican-cuisine-inspired chain is building a standalone structure as an outparcel within the Whole Foods-anchored shopping center’s parking lot, eliminating some spaces. Construction is slated to finish before February 2013.

Other new stores include a Dunkin’ Donuts in Ogden, noted Reggie Hucks, chief building inspector for New Hanover County. Tony Roberts, director of the county’s development services center, listed other notable projects including a new Atlantic Marine store planned at 6707 Oleander Drive, a $750,000-project to build a veterinary hospital at 5712 Oleander Drive, a new McDonald’s restaurant at 2519 North College Road, and a $350,000 office building at 516 Old Maccumber Station Road, across Military Cutoff Road from Mayfaire Town Center.

Just to the south, a $2.4-million shell office building is under construction at 6781 Parker Farm Drive, across the street from another new office building near the former Wachovia mortgage application center building.

And downtown, construction is underway for a Hotel Indigo and marina off Front Street near the Wilmington Convention Center, while plans were presented last week for a 163,000-square-foot Embassy Suites hotel intended to complement the convention center.

Hucks also noted plans for Cape Fear Community College’s $37-million Humanities and Fine Arts Center—one of several buildings included in a 2008 bond referendum—to be built along Third Street between Brunswick and Hanover streets, next door to the recently completed Union Station parking deck.

To reach Jonathan Spiers, call (910) 772-6313 or email jonathan.s@portcitydaily.com.

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