Real Estate - Commercial

Two Redevelopment Projects Advance; Developer Establishes Wilmington Office

By Cece Nunn, posted Sep 3, 2021
Two major redevelopment projects are moving forward after the city’s planning panel gave them the green light to be considered by the Wilmington City Council.

Rezonings for a mixed-use project on South College Road, to be built where a Honda dealership used to operate, and the proposed transformation of motels into apartments on Market Street, got the go-ahead Wednesday from the Wilmington Planning Commission.

Additionally, the Cary-headquartered development firms involved in the South College Road plan have established an office in Wilmington.  

Craig Davis Properties announced recently that it has been expanding its presence in North Carolina regions through offices in the Triangle, Charlotte and Wilmington. 

Another company, Bella Vista Development Group, is CDP’s partner on the South College Road project, which includes 298 apartments, a 364-space parking deck and 15,000 square feet for commercial use in the 800 block of South College Road.

“We are growing and we’re expanding our footprint and Bella Vista plays a large part in that,” said Craig Davis, CEO and founder of CDP.

In the CDP release about the expanded office presence, he said, “We have an opportunity to create unique projects to meet the personality of different markets throughout the region - and offer housing, lifestyle and work solutions for residents throughout these communities. I’m looking forward to seeing these projects come to fruition.”

Davis and Bella Vista Development Group opened the Wilmington office at Landfall Executive Suites this summer to focus on projects along coastal regions in the Carolinas and Virginia.

Davis, who is a partner in Bella Vista, and Mariana Molina, Bella Vista’s founder and president, are married and moved to Wilmington about eight months ago, Molina said.

They expect to grow into larger, permanent space in the Port City in the near future, she said.

Molina has said she will be able to share more information about the South College Road project, dubbed “Paseo,” at a later date.

Motel conversion

A proposal by a separate developer, this one involving turning motel rooms into apartments, was also approved by the Wilmington Planning Commission on Wednesday and is headed to the city council. 

Vivo Investment Group, a company that specializes in the conversion of motels to apartments, plans to turn the Budgetel Inn and Motel 6, both at 4903 Market St., into a multifamily complex with 234 units.

A report by the city’s staff said the site presents an opportunity to provide affordable housing "and the applicant has proposed 10% (23 units) of the project to be designated as workforce housing. The workforce housing proposal would allow for the site to accommodate different income levels and not concentrate a single income level, as encouraged by the policies of the Comprehensive Plan.”

In other business

The commission also voted Wednesday in a 4-3 vote to deny the change of 1.82 acres on Masonboro Loop Road from an office and institutional zoning designation to a multifamily conditional district. A developer requested the change to allow a 16-unit townhome development. 
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