Battleship Point Developers Could Seek Annexation By Leland

By Cece Nunn, posted Feb 18, 2022
Land that juts out into the Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear rivers could be the subject of a voluntary annexation filing with the town of Leland. (File photo)
A plan to build a mixed-use development on Point Peter in New Hanover County might now move forward in a different way: through a voluntary annexation by the Brunswick County town of Leland.

“We have been exploring all of our options, which now include a discussion with the town of Leland about a potential annexation,” said Kirk Pugh, of KFJ Development Group, the firm planning the project known as Battleship Point.

Pugh emphasized that the town of Leland did not approach KFJ about the possible annexation. “We approached them,” he said.

He also said, "We believe it’s a legally viable option."

For Battleship Point, KFJ Development Group has proposed condos, apartments, a hotel and other commercial space on 8 acres on Point Peter, unused property that juts into the Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear rivers. The plan includes the potential for 24-story buildings across the river from downtown Wilmington.

The group recently gained a new member, retired chairman and CEO of TowneBank Mortgage Jacqueline B. Amato, after one of KFJ's founders resigned.

On Friday evening, Leland Mayor Brenda Bozeman said in an email that the town "is reviewing the request from a property owner in the Battleship Point area for voluntary annexation into the town. This is an option available to the developer under current North Carolina statute that the property owner is choosing to explore. The Town is entertaining this request, as it does with any request of this nature." 

KFJ Development has the property, located at 1100 Point Harbor Road, under contract.

Asked about the legality of such a request, Bozeman said, "The governing body of municipalities may annex areas contiguous to its corporate boundaries, provided they meet the requirements in North Carolina General Statute § 160A-31.  Per the statute, areas are considered contiguous if they abut the municipal boundary or are separated by state-owned lands, creeks or rivers, a road right-of-way, or a combination thereof.  The property petitioned for voluntary annexation meets these requirements."

Before a potential annexation, KFJ is seeking new zoning. According to the Leland Planning Board’s Feb. 22 agenda, released Friday, Leland officials are considering that request for a Riverfront Urban Mixed-Use District “that could facilitate mixed-use development on properties between the Isabel Holmes Bridge and the Thomas Rhodes Bridge, along US Highway 421. The proposed district could be applied to properties in this area if they were to be annexed into the Town of Leland. As written, the proposed zoning district could not be applied elsewhere.”

KFJ Development Group last year sought a riverfront urban mixed-use zoning from New Hanover County officials that could apply to their project, but the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners recently tabled the request to schedule a broader discussion on what they want to see along the riverfront.

While that discussion is expected to take place at some point in the next month or two, it could be rendered moot with regards to the Battleship Point proposal if Leland annexes the property. The Battleship Point plan has met with opposition from New Hanover County environmental and historic groups, as well as the Brunswick County NAACP.

According to the proposed Leland zoning, the RUMXD “focuses on compact vertical mixed-use development patterns, emphasizing height allowances to allow for an integrated mix of uses. The proposed structure height limit is 300', and a 5-acre minimum lot size is proposed.”

Bozeman said, "When the Town is considering a voluntary annexation request, the zoning of the property is also considered. The development envisioned for the property would require changes to the Town’s zoning regulations, which are considered by Town staff, Planning Board, and Town Council through the review of a proposed ordinance amendment that would create the zoning district needed to accommodate the type of development anticipated on the property."

The town of Leland has been growing in recent years through voluntary annexations, with more up for consideration by town officials this month, according to agendas.

"As our region continues to grow, the Town of Leland is encouraged that property owners and developers see value in being part of the Town and in the many services and benefits provided to its residents. Leland is focused on both our existing communities and our future. We are making investments in both and intend to continue to do so for years to come," Bozeman said in the email. "The Town will prudently consider future investments in infrastructure and support services necessary to continue to provide a high quality of life for our existing and future residents. The continued growth of the Town reinforces our commitment to be a great destination to live, raise a family, and open or expand a business."

The Leland Planning Board's meeting starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, in the town's council chambers.

Ico insights


Katiebraskett web

September 2022 Freight Market Update

Katie Braskett - MegaCorp Logistics
Cfss headshots parker robert webversion 21422121214

23 Reasons to Go Solar in 2023

Robert Parker - Cape Fear Solar Systems
Mikeharrington carolinaretreats 2

Fall Vacation Rentals and Rising Cost of Real Estate

Mike Harrington - Carolina Retreats

Trending News

Group Planning Indoor Skydiving Facility On Eastwood Announces Updates

Staff Reports - Mar 21, 2023

Possible Writers Strike Could Be Felt In Wilmington Film Scene

Jenny Callison - Mar 20, 2023

Former County Commissioner Woody White Appointed To UNC System Board

Jenny Callison - Mar 22, 2023

City Takes Next Steps Toward Possible Purchase Of Thermo Fisher Building

Staff Reports - Mar 22, 2023

Oklahoma Onion Burgers Planned For The Pointe

Miriah Hamrick - Mar 22, 2023

In The Current Issue

Growing South

Areas throughout southern Brunswick County are seeing an increase in residents and development, leaving municipalities looking at how to pla...

Info Junkie: Hoop Morgan

Book and media recommendations from Info Junkie Hoop Morgan, founder of The Forte Institute....

Brunswick Owners Receive New Tax Values

Brunswick County property owners have received their new tax values as a result of this year’s required revaluation process....

Book On Business

The 2023 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



2023 Power Breakfast: Major Developments