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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — You might have seen the deserted Galleria shopping center on your way to Wrightsville Beach. A new developer is trying to bring the Galleria back to life if the Town of Wrightsville Beach will let it go.

The town is considering deannexing the 12-acre property to allow its owner to fill the empty property with stores and places to live.

“I know it’s been sitting empty for quite a while, and it’s kind of an eyesore to the community, so it would actually be really nice for something to actually go in there and kind of make this area a little bit nicer,” Wilmington resident Jeremy Ames said.

Those who drive by the ghost town of a shopping center say it needs to be revitalized, but the change could mean a loss of revenue for Wrightsville Beach.

“Basically we would lose that tax base,” Wrightsville Beach Town Manager Tim Owens said.

That means a loss of nearly $7,200 a year. It’s something town aldermen considered when they unanimously rejected a proposal last summer by the property’s former owner to deannex the area and make it part of Wilmington. But with new leadership, those who live in Wrightsville Beach are hopeful for a change.

“It would be great,” Wrightsville Beach resident Thomas Huffman said. “I mean it’s a great location. People ride by it all the time.”

If aldermen vote to allow the deannexation, a member of the General Assembly will have to submit a bill to make it happen.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo says he will support whatever Wrightsville Beach decides.

“If Wrightsville Beach decides to move forward with the deannexation, we would oblige and help out and take that into the City of Wilmington,” Saffo said. “If the (Town) of Wrightsville Beach decides against it, we support whatever Wrightsville Beach’s decision is.”

There will be a public hearing tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at Wrightsville Beach Town Hall. It’s to hear what the community thinks of the possible change.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest1234567

    Great idea ~

  • local0101

    If you can’t afford a house at Wrightsville then don’t go. The last thing we need are bus loads of commoners being shipped in. Go back to Carolina Beach

  • Hope101

    is if the proposed property could be turned into a parking/shuttle lot for Wrightsville Beach. The shops could consist of tourist info, last minute beach supplies (boogie boards, chairs, sunscreen, snacks, drinks, coolers, etc). You pay to park. Catch the trolley to drop off locations at the beach. You catch the trolley back, and drive away. One shop could be a bike rental, to allow folks to park and bike down.

    Searching for spots to park is timely and frustrating.

  • 211

    Guess I,m a commoner because I do stay far,far away from WB. I do go to Carolina Beach, much more friendly, but, I bet you enjoy the revenue the commoners bring to YOUR BEACH. Why don’t you get a petition to raise the bridge in a stuck position so you can’t mingle with us commoners who live off island?

  • Guest2020

    If you hate “commoners” so much, vote to make Wrightsville Beach private and watch your property taxes go to the roof to make up for the lost revenue from banning “commoners” from the beach.

    I worked at the Harris Teeter at the Galleria when it first opened. The only snobbier class of people I ever dealt with was in a gated community in Brunswick County.

  • JumpingJehoshaphat

    Good idea, but there’s an even better reason to do that; it’ll prevent the WB’s from polluting the rest of NHC.

  • ChefnSurf

    Saffo is probably having a hard time keeping a silly stupid grin off his face; someone is finally letting little Billy, and the gang that wouldn’t shoot straight, annex something again!

  • taxpayer

    “It would be great,” Wrightsville Beach resident Thomas Huffman said. “I mean it’s a great location. People ride by it all the time.”

    That’s the problem Thomas…people ride by…and don’t stop…even when it was full of shops. WB isn’t going to idly sit by and watch $7,200/year disappear from the town coffers. They will make it up in the form of higher fees. Maybe, just maybe, in the form of higher parking fees for those dastardly tourists who come across the bridge to spend the day…and money.

  • Guest 6969696969

    I Helped as many other’s build this *TREASURE* of Wrightsville Beach, WE didn’t get paid in FULL for OUR Labor (McDevitt & Street were the FINAL bUILDERS), Then turn into a NICE Motel oR SOmething **useful* aS Homeless Shelter would be NICE, Since those that built it years ago, LOST OUR JOBS to the *Hispanic* community….

  • ParkingSpot

    Don’t worry they’ll make-up for that lost revenue by increasing the parking rates again next year! People won’t mind paying $5 an hour to park!!

  • Alex

    Sooo…..let me get this straight….7200 on an undervalued property which Wrightsville Beach wont rezone because they dont want increased traffic on a thoroughfare to the beach…so they’ll let it rot….or theyll now deannex it and let another town get the increased tax value….property and sales taxes and the traffic flow will still go up….sounds smart to me!


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