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Real Estate - Commercial

Mixed-use Project With 298 Apartments Proposed Near UNCW

By Cece Nunn, posted Jul 15, 2021
The site plans submitted to the city of Wilmington for Paseo includes apartments, ground-floor retail and more. (Courtesy of the city of Wilmington)
Developers based in Cary want to build a mixed-use project with apartments and commercial space in Wilmington, on South College Road property that previously held a Honda dealership.

The proposal calls for 298 apartments and 15,000 square feet of commercial space that could contain retail, food and/or beverage businesses, on about 6 acres, a rezoning application stated. Plans also show a parking structure along with surface parking, a "retail festival courtyard" and a pool.

The project, dubbed Paseo, would involve 821 and 825 South College Road and 4881 and 4885 Wilshire Boulevard, according to the application.

Bella Vista Development Group and Craig Davis Properties Inc., which share an office in Cary, are seeking a rezoning of the property from the city of Wilmington for the project. The new zoning designation would be UMX (CD), urban mixed-use conditional district.

Mariana Molina, founder and president of Bella Vista Development Group, said Thursday that she will be able to share more information about Paseo at a later date when the proposal is farther along in the development process. 

The site operated as a Honda dealership until last year, when Stevenson-Hendrick Honda moved from 821 S. College Road to 6720 Market St. The property is currently owned by Susan Stevenson, and it was listed for sale for a little over $9.6 million last year.

Cody Cress, Tyler Pegg and Will Daube, with Wilmington-based The CRESS Group of Coldwell Banker Commercial Sun Coast Partners, are the listing agents. 

In the developers’ zoning application, they said the property “is located on a major thoroughfare and primary retail corridor, College Road, in an area that is ideally positioned for redevelopment and growth; the site lies within 1 mile of the UNCW campus, adjacent to the former Kmart site on which student-focused mixed-use development has been proposed, and across the street from a large commercial development containing, among other things, a Harris Teeter grocery store and a large freestanding commercial building formerly occupied by Dick’s Sporting Goods.”

Further describing their justification for the project, the developers wrote, “The city of Wilmington has seen tremendous population growth, which ... is expected to continue. The proposed use will offer centrally located Class A residential units, amenities and retail that will attract not only UNCW students and faculty but also a growing number of young professionals and professional couples (and others) in our city.” 

The rezoning has not yet been scheduled for consideration by the Wilmington Planning Commission. 

Bella Vista Development Group and Craig Davis Properties Inc. have another mixed-use project planned elsewhere in the state. According to Bella Vista's website, they've been working on a project in Chapel Hill called Bella Vista at Meadowmont Village Center.

The project, the website stated, is a 150,000-square-foot mixed-use building consisting of about 100,000 square feet of Class-A office space, 45,000 square feet of for-sale condominium units (30 to 35 units) and 5,000 square feet of ground-level retail with underground parking.

On the Chapel Hill building, construction is slated to start in the third quarter of this year, with completion expected by the first quarter of 2023, according to the Bella Vista Development Group website.
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