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Real Estate - Residential

After RiverLights Success, Homebuilder Plans To Expand In Wilmington Area

By Cece Nunn, posted Aug 23, 2017
Charlie Tipton, Coastal Carolinas division president of Pulte Group, stands last year near the model homes under construction at Del Webb Wilmington, a Pulte Group company, in RiverLights. (File photo)
A company that entered the Wilmington market with homes in the age-qualified portion of RiverLights plans to expand to new areas in the region.

Pulte Group, a publicly traded firm (NYSE: PHM) that brought Del Webb Wilmington single-family homes to the master planned community on River Road, is planning a 28-lot subdivision called Pepper Hill on vacant land at 6018 Myrtle Grove Road.

"Our intention all along was to grow our footprint in New Hanover County and Brunswick County," said Charlie Tipton, Coastal Carolinas division president of Pulte Group.

But first, Pulte wanted to establish Del Webb Wilmington, for which 64 homes in the first phase have been sold and 18 reservations have been made for the second phase of the age-qualified portion of RiverLights, expected to include 500 of the nearly 2,300 homes the development can hold. Age-qualified homes are restricted to owners ages 55 and older.

"We've been really excited about the success we've seen in Del Webb Wilmington," Tipton said.

The plans for Pepper Hill, prepared by McKim & Creed for a county review, call for 28 single-family homes on about 11 acres. The plans were up for review at a New Hanover County Technical Review Committee meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Pulte officials hope to begin the development in early 2018, Tipton said. The homes would be part of the Pulte Home brand for move-up buyers, houses that would be larger and have slightly higher price points than Pulte's entry-level brand, Centex, Tipton said.

Exact Pepper Hill prices have not yet been decided upon. The homes in RiverLights that are part of Pulte's Del Webb Wilmington brand range from the $230,000s to $330,000s with 11 floor plans to choose from. There are 141 lots in Phase 1 and 117 in Phase 2 of Del Webb Wilmington at RiverLights.

While plans continue for potential, additional Pulte communities in the area, Pepper Hill is the farthest along outside of the RiverLights homes, Tipton said.

"Overall market conditions in the Wilmington area are still favorable and we like the idea of being that close [with the Myrtle Grove Road location] to that core Wilmington area, centrally located between the beaches and downtown," he said.

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