Cottage-style apartments bringing 300 more units to Leland

Cape Cottage Apartment Homes is a 315-unit project coming to Leland. (Courtesy Sands Companies)

LELAND ​​— Construction is underway on an incoming cottage-style apartment complex in a rapidly developing portion of Leland.

The Cape Cottage Apartment Homes, located off West Gate Drive, will comprise 315 one- and two-story cottages across 30.4 acres. The one-, two- and three-bedroom units will span 510 to 1,293 square feet.

The first cottages are expected to be completed by early 2023 and rent at a starting price of $1,200.


The project is one of the 24 major developments ongoing in Leland, according to the town’s current development map, and one of seven along West Gate Drive. Surrounding the future Cape Cottage complex, 240 townhomes are incoming at Summer Bay Villas; 240 units are being built at Westgate Townhomes; and 366 units are awaiting final inspection at Belmont at Westgate.

The area is within walking distance of the Westgate Nature Park and new retail.

Multi-family development and construction firm Sands Companies is behind the build-to-rent Cape Cottage project. The firm also has built in Georgia, coastal Florida and other parts of the Carolinas, including its latest complex, Seaglass Cottages at Barefoot in North Myrtle Beach. The rental cottage apartment homes appear to be similar to what the company is constructing in Leland.

Sands Companies claims to be one of the first in the multi-family industry to build detached, horizontal apartments, dating back to its 2014 founding. Since then, the build-to-rent model has been popularized in the multi-family industry.

Horizontal apartments are intended to create a homeownership feel in a rental complex. The real-estate trend appeals to customers looking to rent, who may not be in a position to buy a house, but are searching for more homey designs and greater amenities than the typical apartment offers.

Riverlights recently announced it is incorporating one of Wilmington’s first build-to-rent developments in the 1,400-acre master-planned community. The project will span 21 acres with 279 units and amenities for the tenants to use.

RELATED: Riverlights hops on growing build-to-rent trend with multifamily village

“We found that renters in our target markets were clamoring for product like this,” Sands President Joe Morrison stated in a press release. “The pandemic made these spacious, detached cottages that much more desirable. Cape Cottage fills a void for such horizontal apartments in the Wilmington area.”

The homes at Cape Cottage will feature front porches, plank flooring, chef’s kitchens and vaulted ceilings. Select apartments will offer side pet yards and walk-in showers. The company boasts that each unit is designed to bring in plenty of natural light.

Amenities on the site will include private workstation pods, a game lounge and a “resort-style” pool with a sun shelf, in addition to poolside cabanas with lounge seating. A fitness center will be equipped with Echelon fitness mirrors and spin bikes.

Leland’s population grew 73% between 2010 and 2019 and is projected to triple by 2045, from around 23,544 people to a population of 74,344. It’s one of the fastest-growing municipalities in North Carolina.

Thursday, the town’s council is considering a vote to adopt its comprehensive planning document, Leland 2045, to guide the growth for the next quarter-century.


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