A manager overseeing one of the largest proposed apartment developments in downtown Wilmington said Thursday that the city’s decision to build a riverfront park swayed his firm to move forward with plans to develop the former Sawmill Marina site.
Blair M. Booth, manager of Cary-based Symphony Properties LLC, said his firm was looking forward to plans to build 278 apartment units in downtown Wilmington because of the future park next door.
In November, the city council approved allocating $4.1 million to buy more than 6 acres for a public park along the northern downtown riverfront.
“We thank the city for purchasing the 6.5-acre land for the park,” Booth said.
Members of the Wilmington Development Services’ Technical Review Committee met with the Symphony development team Thursday to review the mammoth 11-acre apartment project set to rise at 15 Cowan St.
Called Sawmill Point, the four-story development would incorporate a parking garage with additional parking spaces throughout the development. The apartments would be one- and two-bedroom units, ranging from 700 to 1,300 square feet in size, Booth said. Other amenities include a pool and access to a 42-slip marina.
Pending proper permitting and city approval, officials hope to break ground on the multimillion dollar project by mid-summer, Booth said. He said that if the estimated timeline remains in place, the first units could be ready for occupancy by early summer of 2015, with the remaining units coming on board by the end of 2015.
Since the project is located within the central business district, officials will not have to seek city council approval for the development.
Allen Davis, urban designer with the city, suggested the company provide pedestrian connectivity to the future city park to avoid grounds repairs – a condition the team was receptive to possibly completing. Planning officials also want to work with the developers to alter the project’s parking plan to add additional spaces to proposed parking garage.
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