Print
Real Estate - Commercial

Serpentarium Building Could Shed Its Past, Become Dental Spa

By Cece Nunn, posted Jan 17, 2019
The building at 20 Orange St., formerly home to the Cape Fear Serpentarium, might become a dental spa and full-service day spa if a potential new owner succeeds in buying it. (File photo)
A Wilmington dentist has the former Cape Fear Serpentarium building in downtown Wilmington under contract with a potential sale price of $915,000, court records show.

Donald S. Bland's bid for the property, a two-story brick structure built in 2001 at 20 Orange St., got through the New Hanover County Superior Court upset bid period without an upset bid and is now in a due diligence phase expected to last until Feb. 26, said real estate broker Terry Espy, president of MoMentum Companies, who is representing Bland in the transaction.

"We're still in investigation mode," Espy said of the potential purchase. "The ultimate goal is spa dental with a downtown full-service day spa."

A dental spa is typically a dental practice that also offers spa-like amenities. Espy said downtown could also use a full-service day spa in part because of its ongoing growth in events and hotel rooms.

Cape Fear Serpentarium owner Dean Ripa was shot and killed in May 2017, and his wife, Regina Ripa, was charged with first-degree murder. Regina Ripa was found not guilty by reason of insanity in October last year and was expected to be transferred to a psychiatric facility, according to news reports at the time.

After Dean Ripa's death, former Cape Fear Serpentarium Director William Beard had hoped to lease the facility and continue operating it as a snake and reptile exhibit. But a petition was filed May 3 last year on behalf of the Ripas' son, Arkin Ripa, to sell the serpentarium building, along with other property that was part of the estate, in a private sale.

A report of the potential purchase by Bland was filed in New Hanover County Superior Court on Dec. 14, with an upset bid date of Dec. 27.

Bland currently has an office at 206 Dock St. in Wilmington, according to his Wilmington Sedation Dentistry website.

Will Leonard of Cape Fear Commercial listed the property, and attorney Lawrence Craige acted as guardian of the estate for Arkin Ripa, according to court documents.
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Img 1576c1

Is Diversification Oversold?

Eddie Nowell - South Atlantic Capital Management Group
Hewet60

I Disagree.

Ron Hewett - Academy Leadership
Chris coudriet

County Construction Projects Stay on Budget & on Schedule

Chris Coudriet - New Hanover County Government

Trending News

VentureSouth Starting Wilmington Angel Investment Group

Johanna Cano - Apr 23, 2019

Local Boat Slip Marketplace Startup Wins NC IDEA MICRO Grant

Johanna Cano - Apr 24, 2019

Coastal Carolina Curling Club To Slide Into Own Facility

Johanna Cano - Apr 22, 2019

First New-Panamax Ship A Harbinger Of More Business For Port Of Wilmington

Jenny Callison - Apr 23, 2019

Analysts Expect Live Oak Bancshares To Report Lower Q1 Revenues

Jenny Callison - Apr 24, 2019

In The Current Issue

Building Up Health Care Innovation

When New Hanover Regional Medical Center launched its Innovation Center last year, it sought to foster and test creative ideas for improving...


Navigating New Traffic Solutions

As the area continues to attract new residents and businesses, as well as bumper crops of tourists, the challenge of improving traffic flow...


Tackling A Lag In Housing Starts

Housing starts dropped last year in New Hanover County, due in part to Hurricane Florence, and challenges remain even as permits have recent...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`
Transporting the Future - Power Breakfast 3.12.2019
Health Care Heroes 2018