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Real Estate - Commercial

Proposal Revamps Wrightsville Ave. Shopping Center, Adds Apartment Amenities

By Cece Nunn, posted Mar 22, 2019
Built in 1974, Rainbow Square on Wrightsville Avenue could soon get a facelift and some additions. (Photo by Cece Nunn)
A Wilmington company wants to revive an old shopping center on Wrightsville Avenue and make it more useful to an adjacent apartment community.

Rainbow Square, built in 1974 at 3901 Wrightsville Ave., would be redone and expanded to include a swimming pool, leasing office and gathering area for Elevation Apartments if site plans recently submitted to the city of Wilmington are approved and building permits issued for the project proposed by Wilmington-based Tribute Companies.

Tribute Properties, part of Tribute Companies, manages more than 5,000 apartments in North Carolina and South Carolina, and Tribute also owns Elevation Apartments, a student housing complex in Wilmington.

"We're going to totally revamp that whole building, give it a new facade, gut the interior, bring everything back up to code and deliver some really nice office/retail space in the midtown market," said Steve Hall, partner with Wilmington-based commercial real estate firm Maus, Warwick, Matthews & Co., who is the listing agent for the property.

Hall said 6,000 to 7,000 square feet will be available for new retail and/or office tenants at Rainbow Square.

"We'll be able to divide that up into multiple suites," Hall said. "Tenants will have the option to help design the interior of the space."

He added, "I think either a small office user or some neighborhood retail would work well. It is an older building, but when it's done it'll be up to 2019 code."

It also provides easy access by bus and has plenty of parking, Hall said. The revamped center is projected to be ready in four to five months, depending on city approval and permits, he said.

Remarkable Properties LLC, a Tribute Companies entity, purchased the 11,200-square-foot center for $660,000 from TBP LLC in November last year, according to New Hanover County tax records.

The site plans indicating changes to Rainbow Square are expected to be considered by the city's Technical Review Committee in April, according to the Wilmington's project tracking website. 
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