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Real Estate - Commercial

Wilmington Planning Leaders To Consider New Apartments, Gas Station

By Emma Dill, posted May 8, 2024
A rendering of a proposed townhome and apartment project along Independence Boulevard in Wilmington. (Image courtesy of Becker Morgan Group)
A handful of commercial projects are expected to go before Wilmington planning leaders early next month.

Those projects include a proposed 253-unit apartment complex in Ogden, a 40-unit project along Independence Boulevard and re-submitted plans for a Circle K gas station on Dawson Street. 

All are tentatively scheduled to go before the Wilmington Planning Commission at its June 5 meeting for rezoning consideration. The rezoning requests would then go before the Wilmington City Council for a final vote.

The first project called Abberly Wilmington proposes 253 new apartments on a nearly 20-acre tract off Market Street in Ogden. The development site would span four parcels, including 7725, 7729, 7731 and 7753 Alexander Road. 

Virginia-based real estate development firm HHHunt is requesting to annex the land, which is located in New Hanover County, into the city limits and rezone the site to allow for high-density multiple-dwelling residential development.

HHHunt builds apartments, homes and planned communities throughout the Southeastern U.S. and operates 11 Abberly-branded apartments throughout North Carolina, including complexes in Charlotte, Raleigh and the greater Triangle area.

The proposed Wilmington complex would include a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Approximately 10% of the units would be priced at 80% of the area median income for 15 years, according to rezoning documents. 

Plans also include amenities like a pool, clubhouse, coworking center, outdoor boat storage, a dog park, picnic areas and resident garages.

At the northeast corner of Oleander Drive and Independence Boulevard, local developer Dave Spetrino has submitted a rezoning request that would make way for a proposed townhome and apartment project.

The proposed project is a scaled-down version of the plans Spetrino pitched last year, which included additional residential development along a nearly mile-long stretch of Independence Boulevard.

The new plans include 16 three-story townhomes along Independence Boulevard and a four-story, mixed-use building with commercial space on its ground floor and 24 units on the floors above.

Spetrino will ask Wilmington leaders to rezone the site at 1320 Independence Blvd. from its current residential zoning to an office and institutional commercial district mixed-use district.

Midtown Development Partners LLC, a limited liability company registered to Spetrino, purchased the tract at 1320 Independence Blvd. for $410,000 last June, property records show.

Along Dawson Street, stalled gas station plans may be getting new life. 

Circle K developers have re-submitted plans to build a gas station and convenience store at 1618 Dawson Street – the site of a former Walgreens. 

In February, a rezoning needed for the project was denied by the Wilmington City Council in a tie vote. Now, plans have been submitted again to city leaders.

Circle K had planned to demolish the vacant building at 1618 Dawson St. to build a nearly 4,000-square-foot convenience store and 14 fuel pumps. Walgreens moved out of the site’s more than 11,000-square-foot building in 2021, and it’s been vacant ever since.

In February, Circle K’s Real Estate Development Manager Andy Pirolo told council members that the high volume of traffic passing the site makes it a prime spot for development. Pirolo added that Circle K had plans to invest $5.8 million to construct the new convenience store and employ around 15 people. 

Plans for the site included a single-story Circle K convenience store, an outdoor seating area, gas pumps, and a fuel canopy, according to rezoning documents. The site’s existing ATM will remain. According to the company’s website, Circle K currently has eight Wilmington area locations.
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