Wilmingtonbiz logo
Real Estate - Residential

Firm Wins Bid To Buy 17th And 18th Street Lots From ABC Board

By Cece Nunn, posted Jun 22, 2017
A company is expected to build single-family homes on 17th and 18th streets after the New Hanover County ABC Board voted Wednesday to accept JEJ Investment LLC’s $237,000 bid for six parcels.

"We’re happy to have won the bid, and we’re going forward with single-family residential," said J. Larsen of JEJ Investments LLC on Thursday afternoon.

The purchase will be finalized at a later date, and JEJ Investments would need to get city approvals for its plans. The vacant parcels add up to about .6 of an acre and are near the recently revamped ABC store at 523 S. 17th St. in Wilmington. In 2007 and 2008, the board at the time paid nearly $1 million for the properties, which had homes on them then, according to New Hanover County property tax records.

Also at the time, the homes on the parcels were torn down along with some trees, angering neighbors and others in the community. Officials previously had plans to use the land to build an ABC headquarters. Now the ABC Board’s administrative complex is at 6009 Market St.

The decision by the board Wednesday disappointed some in the community, including Steve Spain, executive director of Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity. He said he and other nonprofit organization leaders had hoped the parcels could be used to build affordable housing, especially after existing affordable homes there were torn down after the ABC Board purchased them.

“It’s not that important whether Habitat does it. It could be anybody who goes in there and restores it, but my concern from a Habitat point of view is it used to be affordable housing and we’d like to see, because it’s so hard to build affordable housing in this city anymore, that neighborhood restored to affordable housing,” Spain said.

Larsen said Thursday it's too early to say how single-family homes on the properties might be priced.

Spain spoke to the board Wednesday about his concerns before the panel voted unanimously to sell the properties to JEJ Investments LLC. According to the legal ads published about the sale, "A buyer’s due diligence period of up to 21 days will be afforded, with closing on or before 45 days thereafter."

Although the ABC Board's legal ads had been published since April, Spain said he found out about the sale too late, the day after the most recent 10-day upset bid period ended in May.

ABC Board Chairman Bob Martenis said Wednesday afternoon that the board chose to put the properties up for bid because the organization wasn’t going to use them “and it puts it back in the property tax rolls.”

In response to Spain’s concerns, he said, “We felt as a board that we gave everybody a fair chance to bid on it and they did not bid on it and came in after. It wouldn’t be fair to the other bidders if we took a bid at this point after it’s all over.”

Comparable pricing prepared for the ABC Board by Spruill Thompson, a broker with Wilmington-based Cape Fear Commercial, put the starting bid for the properties, at 501, 503, and 507 S. 17th St. and 502, 504 and 506 S. 18th St., at $186,000.

The board still owns other pieces of property in the area, some of which is used by a neighborhood church for parking. The board plans to use some of it for a potential expansion at its S. 17th Street store and additional store parking.

Local ABC officials are also considering a property swap involving the ABC store at 6730 Wrightsville Ave., a move that’s allowable under state statutes. The transaction would add an adjacent property to what’s already owned by State Street Companies on Wrightsville Avenue while giving the ABC board a site for a larger store.

At about 4,000 square feet, the Wrightsville Avenue store is currently one of the New Hanover County ABC Board’s smallest, “but we’re watching tourism growth in Wrightsville Beach and just residency in our community grow, so in order to keep up with that, it’s time for a bigger store in that area to make sure it’s supporting our customer base there,” said Marnina Queen, CEO of the New Hanover County ABC Board.

Join The Discussion

Similar Stories

Ico insights



2017: Energy in the Spotlight

David McGowan, III - N.C. Petroleum Council; American Petroleum Institute-NC

Should You Trust Your Business To The Cloud?

Marty Cayton - TeamLogic IT of Wilmington & Fayetteville
Billhunter300x300 b&w

STOP! The Simple Lessons Road Signs Teach Us About Branding

Bill Hunter - Wilmington Design Company

Book On Business


The 2017 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!
Print Only
$24.95 - Qty
Print + Excel File
$79.95 - Qty

In The Current Issue

NHRMC Proposes Fourth CT Scanner

The N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation recently gave conditional approval for New Hanover Regional Medical Center to acquire an additional CT scanner that would be located adjacent to the emergency department at the hospital’s main campus on South 17th Street.

Tour To Highlight Affordable Housing

To boost awareness about what affordable housing means in the Wilmington area, the Cape Fear Housing Coalition is hosting its first Real Hou...

Making Waves In The Spearfishing Industry

Mark Laboccetta, a local spearfishing record-holder, is looking to make his mark in the spearfishing industry by spearguns with Wilmington-b...

Ico topnews Editor's Picks

Cape Fear Serpentarium Reopens After Repairs

Christina Haley O'Neal - About 1 hour ago

Il Forno Pizzeria Now Open At The Pointe At Barclay

Jessica Maurer - About 7 hours ago

For Major Mixed-use Projects, Developers Share Updates, Details

Cece Nunn - Sep 19, 2017 Trending News

Historic Wilmington Foundation Executive Director Set To Retire

Christina Haley O'Neal - Sep 19, 2017 Trending News

Leggett PLLC

Leggett, PLLC specializes in business valuation and forensic accounting services. Elaine has more than 20 years of experience and has served clients in a variety of industries and types of engagement ...more

Ico trending Trending News

Ico newsinimages News in Pictures

Have a tip, pitch or guest column?  Send us a tip.

Gallery Galleries

Video Videos

Power Breakfast: Coach C.B. McGrath - June 2017
Wilmington's Most Intriguing People of 2016

Register to Continue Seeing Wilmington's Best Business Coverage!

There are three ways to register for free.

Sign in with LinkedIn, Facebook or create an account:

Already registered? Login here.

Your free registration includes:

  • Access to 10 articles per month on WilmingtonBiz.com
  • Email updates to stay informed on local business news
  • A mobile optimized website
  • Advanced notification of Business Journal events
  • Management of your digital and print subscriptions
Laptop iphone ipad