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Real Estate - Residential

Nearly Done With The Pearl, Developer Plans 32 More Downtown Apartments

By Cece Nunn, posted Jun 14, 2019
The inside of a model apartment at The Pearl, a newly constructed apartment building in downtown Wilmington. (Photo courtesy of PBC Design + Build)
There's The Pearl in downtown Wilmington and soon there could be The Mini Pearl.

Dave Spetrino, of PBC Design + Build, and his team have recently been working to put the finishing touches on The Pearl apartment building at 724 S. Fifth Ave. Construction there is down to the punch-list details, and residents are moving in next week.

The Pearl has 38 one-bedroom/studio apartments and one commercial space (which has not yet been leased), and Spetrino said Thursday that he is also planning a structure behind The Pearl with 32 more units, dubbed The Mini Pearl for now.

The Mini Pearl is expected to include nine two-bedroom apartments and 23 one-bedroom apartments, Spetrino said.

He said he anticipates the site plans for The Mini Pearl to be submitted to the city of Wilmington's Technical Review Committee this summer, with Tripp Engineering doing the civil engineering and the Wilmington office of LS3P doing the architectural work.

Of The Pearl's progress, Spetrino said, "It's really cool. It just feels really good, the size of the spaces and the way the rooms came together and the colors. It feels like home. It doesn't feel like an apartment or an institution; it feels like someplace I'd want to live."

Rents at The Pearl start at $845 month, which includes water, sewer, trash, on-demand hot water and high-speed private Wifi. 

Town & Country Real Estate is managing the property.

The Pearl and two other apartment projects developed by PBC Design + Build aim to meet a demand for smaller, more affordable units. Spetrino said there are other parts of downtown Wilmington that could hold similar projects.

"There's these little neighborhood buildings [for example] that you can have a handful of apartments in that are in walkable areas and make it easy for people to get around," Spetrino said.

Also at The Pearl, there are 22 parking spaces under the building, in the parking garage, and the rest of the parking is surface and street parking, he said.

"We needed to create smaller spaces that live large," Spetrino said in an email about The Pearl. "We focused on oversized windows, high ceilings, taller than typical interior doors, coordinated colors and finishes as well as some interior glass/ mirrors."   

He said feedback about The Pearl has been encouraging.

"Our mission was to create something 'clean, safe and affordable,'" Spetrino said, "and with our deep experience in 'high design,' that seems to be an added bonus to our future residents."

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