Real Estate - Residential

On Oleander Drive, New Housing And Commercial Space Planned

By Cece Nunn, posted Apr 7, 2023
Summerwalk Phase 2 near the intersection of Oleander Drive and Greenville Loop Road would include housing and commercial space. (Courtesy of the city of Wilmington)

Summerwalk, a development off Greenville Loop Road, includes more than 100 townhomes and 19 single-family residences completed in 2019, but the developer's original plans involved more homes and commercial space. 

At 6120 Oleander Drive on six acres of the original 26-acre development site, those additions could be coming soon. An attorney has applied for a rezoning of the 6 acres, near the corner of Oleander Drive and Greenville Loop Road, from community business conditional district, CB (CD), to regional business conditional district, RB (CD), to allow for a commercial district mixed-use project. Summerwalk Phase 2 would have 196 residential units and 40,000 square feet for potential restaurants, medical offices or other commercial tenants.

The project would hold 142 one-bedroom units and 54 two-bedroom dwellings among two buildings, with each building containing a ground-level parking garage. 

Sam Franck, an attorney with Ward and Smith who applied for the rezoning, is working with the current land owners, Summerwalk Commercial and Summerwalk Development. The first phase of Summerwalk was developed by Howard Penton, who is also the managing member of Summerwalk Commercial and Summerwalk Development. 

Of Summerwalk’s next phase, Franck said in an email Thursday, “Market conditions and the needs of our community have changed significantly over the eight years since the original approval for this development. The evolution in our recent application reflects a response to those needs.”

Franck called the site “an exceptional location, served by public infrastructure and transportation, and approximately located to several commercial centers in our city.”

Twenty of the multifamily housing units would be dedicated to workforce housing for at least 15 years, according to the application. The proposed commercial building would be limited to (but not certain to include) the following uses: business services; banking services; standard restaurants; fast-food and carry-out restaurants that would be limited to coffee or ice cream shops; a microbrewery; retail sales establishments, including specialty grocers and pharmacies; medical offices; professional offices; and personal services.

In explaining the push for rezoning, Franck also pointed out the need to accommodate the area’s growing population.

“Demand for a diversity of housing options is high, and this seems to be the right time to move forward with delivery of these proposed mixed uses,” he said.

He said he expects the rezoning request to come before the Wilmington Planning Commission in May and before the Wilmington City Council in June.

“Based on a reasonable design and construction schedule,” Franck said, “we expect to see new businesses and homes on this site complete in late 2025.”

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