The developers of a commercial center planned on Military Cutoff Road estimate that vertical construction will begin by this spring.
Renaissance Market, located across from Mayfaire Town Center at the northeast corner of Military Cutoff Road and Sir Tyler Drive, will be anchored by a specialty grocery store, as-yet unnamed, that focuses on organic and natural food. A grand opening for the store, which will be new to Wilmington, could be coming during the fourth quarter of 2018 or first quarter of 2019, said Randy Kelley, principal of Harbour Retail Partners, the firm that has partnered with Trask Land Company on the project.
Harbour Retail and Trask received unanimous approval from Wilmington City Council on Aug. 1 to rezone the nearly 7-acre property to the Community Business (Conditional District) designation.
The growth of the Renaissance area, which currently includes a hotel, office buildings, apartments and retail, was predicted by Raiford Trask Jr. more than a decade ago, his son, Raiford Trask III, said Tuesday.
"My father had always envisioned a mix of uses for this Renaissance corridor on the east side of Military Cutoff, and with patience, we have been able to introduce a mix of uses within Renaissance and are now able to add specialty grocery and specialty retail to the mix," Trask III said.
At Renaissance Market, the grocery store will be about 23,000 square feet, with a 7,500-square-foot adjacent junior anchor and an additional 6,400 square feet of retail space for three other potential tenants. For two outparcels along Military Cutoff Road, a 3,500-square-foot building is planned on one and a 4,000-square-foot structure on the other.
Kelley said the partners expect to be able to announce the grocery store and junior anchor tenant some time within the next 90 days. He said the architecture of the center will have a classic coastal feel.
"We intend to offer unique common area amenities such as green walls, electric vehicle charging stations, natural xeric landscaping, ample pedestrian walkways and outdoor dining areas," Kelley said.
Trask and Kelley said the corner is a great location, on a "going-home side" of Military Cutoff Road, for a center anchored by a specialty grocery store. They said they worked with city officials on improvements to pedestrian accessibility, enhanced landscaping, common area features and road improvements on Military Cutoff Road and Sir Tyler Drive.
"When you have a situation in a submarket like this, where the size of the [population] pie is growing, and the current grocery stores are all doing very well, which they are, then it shows that there's capacity," said Kelley, who has a nearly 18-year background in grocery development.
Below is part of a preliminary site plan by Liggett Design Group, a landscape architect in Raleigh, and Norris & Tunstall of Wilmington.