Real Estate - Residential

For Affordable Townhome Development, Realtors Foundation Kicks Off Fundraising

By Staff Reports, posted Nov 17, 2023
Pierson Pointe is an affordable townhome development planned on Carolina Beach Road. (Courtesy New Hanover County documents)

With a fundraising campaign kickoff this month, the Wilmington Realtors Foundation took another step toward its plans to build townhomes priced under $250,000.

The Pierson Pointe townhome development planned on Carolina Beach Road is expected to offer 48 two- to three-bedroom units ranging from 1,200 to 1,600 square feet, according to a news release. The townhomes would have two-and-a-half bathrooms and single-car garages.

The units also come with deed restrictions requiring that they are owner-occupied, according to a news release.

At the official kickoff Nov. 2, foundation president and Realtor Jody Wainio said Pierson Pointe aims to make home ownership possible for the "missing middle," which can include local firefighters, teachers and nurses.

“Finding solutions to the lack of affordable workforce housing is a key priority for our county staff and commission," Rob Zapple, a member of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners, told participants at the kickoff. "The work that the Wilmington Realtors Foundation is doing with the development of Pierson Pointe is a wonderful example of our private sector, in this case, our local Realtors, going beyond just talking about the problem by putting their knowledge, labor, and resources to work."

According to the release, the kickoff breakfast garnered $25,000 in donations from attendees. Proceeds from the kickoff will go directly to Pierson Pointe construction costs, the release stated. 

Catherine Grinnan is the campaign director.

"An annual salary of $48,000 qualifies for a home purchase up to $260,000, and these professionals are competing to purchase one of only 35 homes in New Hanover County at this price point in July 2023," Grinnan wrote in an opinion piece for WilmingtonBiz Magazine in September. "Each month, prices increase, supply remains constrained and affordable homeownership remains unattainable for our workforce."

For Pierson Pointe, the foundation leveraged a 3-acre parcel, she wrote.

"Pierson Pointe is not a project an association typically would launch; we are not developers or builders, and associations are known to be risk-averse," Grinnan wrote. "However, we asked ourselves, ‘How much longer can we study, discuss and wring our hands at the sheer number of units needed without doing something?’"

The WRF campaign aims to raise $2.5 million to cover the cost of Pierson Pointe's development, according to the kickoff release. WRF is a 501c3 nonprofit organization established in 1987.

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