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Real Estate - Residential

What's Next For Mixed-use Project On South College Road

By Cece Nunn, posted Jan 25, 2021
Part of a site plan shows commercial outparcels along South College Road in light yellow, a mixed-use building in green, an apartment site in red, single-family in darker yellow and townhome spots in gray and orange. (Conceptual plan by Mihaly Land Design)

A rezoning for a mixed-use development that aims to add apartments, townhomes, single-family homes and commercial space along South College Road is up for consideration by the New Hanover County Planning Board.

The proposed rezoning of more than 64 acres at 5601 S. College Road would allow for the expansion of the Whiskey Branch master-planned community.

Whiskey Branch began in 2018 with a residential subdivision containing 156 units on 69 acres comprised of single-family homes, duplexes and four-unit townhomes.

“The proposed development would be an example of successful infill development, repurposing a current vacant county parcel into a residential and commercial project designed to provide additional housing for county residents, local commercial and retail for those and nearby residents, and provide a benefit to the county's tax base and citizens,” stated the rezoning application from property owner Dry Pond Partners, a Cameron Management entity.

According to the application, the rezoning from R-15, residential, to Planned Development (PD) would allow for the creation of mixed-use structures with about 72,000 square feet made up of 24,000 square feet of commercial space and 40 residential units; up to 250 multi-family apartment units; 50 townhome units; and 120 single-family/townhome/duplex/triplex units.

Site work could begin this summer, said Hill Rogers, broker in charge of Cameron Management.

For the commercial development, specific tenants have not been identified yet, but “it is the applicant's desire to include a gourmet grocery store, electrical car charging station(s), a coffee shop, and a consumer-electronics store among the retail uses that will be available to the public,” according to the application.

A Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) showed additional possibilities for the six commercial outparcels along South College Road that would sit in front of the residential portions of the project:

  • 120-room hotel
  • 4,000-square-foot, high-turnover, sit-down restaurant
  • 3,500-square-foot fast food with drive-thru
  • Two 20,000-square-foot office buildings
  • 10,000-square-foot retail space

The plan encourages a walkable urban environment, according to the application, "by incorporating non-vehicular access points to adjacent properties; 5-foot sidewalks along internal roads within the development other than where sidewalks would interfere with existing utility easements; and locating high density multi-family uses in the center of the site to promote easier pedestrian access to nearby commercial uses without additional vehicle trips."

A public hearing is scheduled on the rezoning request during a meeting of the New Hanover County Planning Board at 6 p.m. Feb. 4, according to New Hanover County's website.

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