Real Estate - Residential

For 30 Acres On Market St., Large Senior Living Development Planned

By Cece Nunn, posted Jun 25, 2020
A site plan shows areas where senior independent living facilities would be built on 30 acres at 8704 Market Street in New Hanover County.

Liberty Senior Living wants to rezone a little over 30 acres at 8704 Market Street from business and residential zonings to a mixed-use designation for a new development.

"Liberty purchased this property in 2007 with the intentions of developing a senior living community," said Thad Moore, development manager for Liberty Senior Living, in an email Thursday.

The development, which has not yet been named, would include 186 units in a four-story, 280,000-square-foot independent living retirement community facility. 

The community's site plans also show a 90,000-square-foot assisted living healthcare facility with three levels and 110 beds and spaces for 52 units in independent living cottages.

A mixed-use building in the front of the development would have room for a 4,000-square-foot office or salon and four residential units.

According to a letter attached to the community notice on New Hanover County's website, Liberty is asking county officials "to rezone the property from its current zoning: Neighborhood Business ('B-1') and Residential 15 ('R-15') to an Urban Mixed Use Zoning District (UMXZ) to allow the development of a senior living community."

"UMXZ zoning, which the County's UDO identifies as the appropriate district for Senior Independent and Assisted Living, also contemplates non-residential uses, so we have chosen office and/or salon use here on the 1st floor with residential units above," Moore said.

Moore said there's a very high level of demand for quality senior housing and licensed assisted living in the area "as evidenced by North Carolina’s Certificate of Need calculations as well as Liberty’s experience at its existing communities in the market." 

Those existing communities include Brightmore of Wilmington senior living campus and Carolina Bay at Autumn Hall Continuing Care Retirement Community.

As for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the plans, Moore said, COVID-19 has enhanced the need to provide care and services to our most vulnerable population.  Liberty has already begun adding enhanced infection control design elements to their existing and future senior living communities.

Explaining the community meeting details, the letter said, "Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, and after careful consideration of how to appropriately solicit meaningful feedback from our neighbors while exercising social distancing measures, we will hold this meeting in a virtual setting via a Zoom meeting" at 5 p.m. July 6.

The letter asks that people who want to attend the virtual meeting register online.

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