An N.C. Department of Transportation project that isn't expected to start until 2020 will determine the start time for a $250 million development planned on Military Cutoff and Eastwood Roads.
The DOT project that's key for CenterPoint, the 1 million-square-foot mixed-use development in the works by Swain & Associates, will be the extension of Drysdale Drive. Currently, Drysdale Drive, a thoroughfare off Military Cutoff Road, ends at wooded property.
The extension is tied into DOT efforts to ease traffic at the intersection of Military Cutoff and Eastwood roads.
"Our grade separated quadrant intersection improvement
[also referred to as a bridge over roadways with quadrants] at Military Cutoff and Eastwood has been broken into two projects (U-5710 and U5710A)," said Chad Kimes, DOT engineer, in an email. Choosing a contractor for U-5710A, which includes building the new location of the Drysdale Drive extension, is expected to start around April 2020 in the DOT timeline, Kimes said.
Construction of the road project would likely then start one to two months after the contract has been awarded, he said.
"The purpose of accelerating Drysdale Extension is to relieve some congestion prior to building the bridge and to reduce the overall construction time of [the] project," Kimes said in the email. "We will still continue to attempt to accelerate these projects even further, but we must make sure proper time is allowed for right of way acquisition and utility relocation."
CenterPoint currently is expected to include 300 apartments, two parking decks, a 75,000-square-foot medical facility, a seven-story hotel with 200 rooms, 31,600 square feet of office space and 128,000 square feet of retail space on 23 acres on Military Cutoff and Eastwood Road, with numerous entrances and exits, including Drysdale Drive's extension.
In the original announcement in July last year
about CenterPoint, developers said one of the hallmarks of CenterPoint's design is its proximity to the potential Drysdale Drive extension, a new four-lane road with a median.
"We would plan to begin constructing CenterPoint at or after the time NCDOT begins constructing Drysdale Drive Extension. We would want the first phase of CenterPoint to come on-line after Drysdale Drive Extension is open and operating," said Jason Swain, developer with Swain & Associates, on Thursday.
The development is still going through a city review process that includes the need for the Subdivision Review Board to consider technical details related to roads and infrastructure. The developer was granted a continuance of the review at Wednesday's SRB meeting to the panel's next meeting, scheduled for June 20. But the proposal requires a rezoning and will also have to be on a future agenda of the city's Planning Commission followed by a final decision from the Wilmington City Council.
In addition, "The project will require full site plan review and approval from the TRC [the city's Technical Review Committee] prior to construction release," according to SRB documents.
From the SRB, the development team was seeking waivers from some city technical standards with the aim of improving connectivity, allowing safer pedestrian crossings and taking into account future road improvements.
"You try to adhere to those technical standards as best you can, but each project is different and sometimes there are modifications that are required," Swain said.
He said by making technical changes as the plans move forward and working with different governmental agencies on the details of CenterPoint, "we just want to make sure that we're getting it all done the right way."