Print
Real Estate - Residential

Proposed Mixed-use Project Includes Historic Wilmington Structure

By Cece Nunn, posted Feb 17, 2016
The Quonset hut at 614 S. 16th St., which has undergone renovations in the decades since its construction just after World War II, is incorporated in plans for a proposed mixed-use development. (Photo by Cece Nunn)
Although he’s worked on traditional apartment complexes as a subcontractor in the past, a Wilmington resident and business owner envisions a different kind of project on property he’s bought over the past two years near his Queen Street home.

“I’ve always built buildings. It’s completely different when you’re building a community. I want to build a community,” Leslie Smith said Wednesday of the mixed-use development he’s proposing off Queen Street between 15th and 16th streets in Wilmington.

The community, dubbed on site plans by JBS Consulting as "Square One," is expected to consist of 50 to 70 apartments in five buildings, along with some retail and office space in the nearly 70-year-old Quonset hut at 614 S. 16th St., said Smith, owner of L S Smith Inc.

Shipping containers would be used in the construction of the apartment buildings as well as office space in the Quonset hut, Smith said.

Two of the five apartment buildings would be three stories and situated on either side of the Quonset hut, site plans show. Known for their use by the U.S. Navy during World War II because they were light, easy-to-build structures, numerous historical sources say Quonset huts were named after Quonset Pointe, a peninsula and the former site of a naval base in Rhode Island where the structures were first made in the U.S.

But the building at 614 S. 16th St. in Wilmington was a post-war creation. Joe Sheppard, records keeper in the North Carolina room at the New Hanover County Public Library, said a construction company was granted a permit in 1947 to build the Quonset hut at 16th and Queen streets for offices and a warehouse, according to an article Sheppard cited from The Wilmington Post, dated March 26, 1947.

Smith said it’s always been his aim to save the building, which his development company bought last year.

“To get rid of it felt like taking a piece of Wilmington that you’d never get back,” Smith said.

He said he envisions the offices inside the landmark as co-working space that could be used by the apartment dwellers there and also plans to include a pavilion behind the Quonset hut with pergolas and hook-ups for food trucks. 

"I think you can mix the urban, modern feel with these surroundings," Smith said as he stood on the site Wednesday morning.

The plans for Square One could be reviewed by the city of Wilmington’s Technical Review Committee as early as March 3, according to the city’s project tracking website.

Story On The Map

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Headshot2

The Benefits of Creating Business Relationships with Colleges

Dani Somers - North Carolina Wesleyan
Webilm julieformal kellystarbuckcom mg 5471

Business is Growing at the ILM Business Park

Julie Wilsey - Wilmington International Airport
Img 0801

The 3 Most Important Questions Before You Retire

Brett Tushingham - Tushingham Wealth Strategies

Trending News

Dram Yard Restaurant To Open At New Boutique Hotel

Jessica Maurer - Mar 20, 2019

Mixed-use Project On Oleander Drive Moves Forward

Johanna Cano - Mar 21, 2019

Two New Hanover County Departments To Merge This Summer

Jenny Callison - Mar 19, 2019

Wilmington-based Bloom Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

Johanna Cano - Mar 19, 2019

Bespoke Coffee Owner Shares More Details About First Outpost

Jessica Maurer - Mar 20, 2019

In The Current Issue

LP Supplies The Construction Industry

A look at what Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (LP), which has been in Wilmington since 1985, makes and sells....


Storm Repairs Boost Battleship

The more than 35-year-old visitors center, which greets thousands annually before they board the memorial warship, is getting a major makeov...


Demand For Apartments Spreads

Leland is growing so fast, it needs more housing ASAP. In fact, some incentives were granted recently to a developer planning to build more...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Transporting the Future - Power Breakfast 3.12.2019
Health Care Heroes 2018
2018 WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with Eric Dinenberg, Rouse Properties