Real Estate - Commercial

Commercial Space Changing To Residential In Leland Mixed-use Project

By Cece Nunn, posted Dec 3, 2020
Commercial space in Harrington Square at Harrington Village in Leland is being converted to add more apartments to the project. (Photo courtesy of Pat McKee)
The mix is changing for a mixed-use project on Village Road in Leland.

Harrington Village, an award-winning development with 330 apartments and previously 27,000 square feet of commercial space in Harrington Square, will soon have 16 more apartments and only 10,000 commercial square feet.

But the space is being constructed to be flexible so it could be converted back to commercial uses if necessary, said Pat McKee, one of the partners in the Harrington Village project and owner of McKee Homes. 

Demand drove the decision, he said.

“Before COVID, we’ve been trying to lease the space there for close to two or three years, and we just have not seen the interest or the demand in that location and it was becoming a big paperweight for us, an anchor on the project having all that space unleased,” McKee said. “Whereas we’re close to 100% leased out in the residential space. ... We feel that's a better use of the space.”

The three buildings in Harrington Square are four stories with the commercial space on the first floor and apartments in the top three. The demand for first-floor, one- to two-bedroom apartments that are handicapped accessible is tremendous, McKee said.

The building that will contain the remaining commercial space fronts Village Road and will be fully leased, with a McKee Homes design center, an upcoming H&H Homes design center and other tenants that have not yet been announced. There's one other commercial tenant, in one of the buildings where most of the commercial space is being converted to residential.

Despite the struggles at Harrington Square, commercial development in Leland is on the rise, primarily on U.S. 17.

“The majority of our residential growth [and by extension commercial growth] is occurring on Highway 17 as that area is much more convenient to the majority of the town’s residents,” said Gary Vidmar, the town of Leland's community and economic development director. “We’re trying to change that dynamic and attract commercial businesses to Village Road, and Harrington has begun to do that, but we've not seen any other progress happening on the same scale as we’ve seen on Highway 17.” 

For now, work is underway on the conversion at Harrington Square in Harrington Village. The changes did not require a rezoning but did require building permits.

McKee said, “We expect to have leasable residential space there by the spring and be fully occupied by late spring, early summer.”
Ico insights



Building A Health Care Innovation Certificate: It’s A Team Effort

Diane Durance - UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Drewsmith copiersplus headshot

Calculating The Total Cost Of Ownership Of Your Office Equipment

Drew Smith - Copiers Plus
Natalieenglish headshot

Catalytic Leadership

Natalie English - Wilmington Chamber of Commerce

Trending News

AG Clears Novant Purchase Of NHRMC

Neil Cotiaux and Vicky Janowski - Jan 21, 2021

NHRMC Giving Community Vaccinations At Local Movie Theater

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jan 21, 2021

Apartment Market Remains Robust

Cece Nunn - Jan 22, 2021

Expansion Planned For Porters Neck Community

Cece Nunn - Jan 22, 2021

OPINION: Mapping Local Nonprofit Sector's Future

Chris Prentice - Jan 22, 2021

In The Current Issue

Boutique Hotel Responds To Pandemic

The first year of business is the most tenuous, no matter what, but add a pandemic to that year, and it becomes even more tricky. Find out h...

Food Trucks Roll Through Pandemic

The concept is simple: When health barriers reduce the number of people who can eat at your restaurant, take your food to where the people a...

Info Junkie: Debbie Elliott

Seniors real estate specialist Debbie Elliott shares her top info and tech picks....

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100