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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Getting a caffeine fix could lead to you fixing your car. At least, that’s what one man claims.

Stephen Abarno says one shopping center is riddled with deep potholes, and nothing is being done about it.

On a rainy day in Wilmington, a watery mess quickly fills potholes in University Commons shopping center on South College Road.

Abarno is a regular here at the Starbucks. He’s almost tripped and fallen while getting out of his car because of the potholes. Others have not been so lucky.

“I’ve been out here all the time watching how people have been tripping in the parking lot and people’s vehicles getting damaged,” Abarno said.

Since March, he’s taken it upon himself to contact Centro Properties to try and get these holes filled. Abarno says after complaining to the company about its parking lot, someone came out and temporarily fixed some of the holes, but now, they’re coming back.

“I’m hoping to get something accomplished to save people’s vehicles and to make the community look good,” Abarno said. “As far as the shopping center, I’d think they’d want it to be safe for the people to walk in.”

He even took photos to show just how bad the potholes are. This time though, Abarno says no one has called him back.

We contacted Centro Properties to ask about the pothole problems. The public relations department looked into the issue and left us a voicemail saying repairs are scheduled for June.

“That does include areas in and around the Starbucks store,” Carol Merriman said. “At the other end of that building is a Carolina Ale House, so there’s some areas over there I think you mentioned. There’s some areas near a stop sign earmarked to be improved upon as well as some other areas within the shopping center.”

We had more questions, specifically about the length of time it takes to fill a pothole once one is reported. We tried the PR department again, but no one called back. So we contacted Centro Property’s Vice President of Property Management for the Southeast Region John Priede to find out more.

“They’re in the process of being fixed, and we’ve got a large project that we’re gonna be doing,” he said. “Like I said, Carol will be happy to give you details if you need any more details than that.”

Again, he referred us back to the PR department.

We did notice that it appears Centro has worked on some of the potholes since our first phone call. As for that project in June, we’ll keep you updated.

Last fall, Centro Properties repaved approximately a third of the parking lot. This new project will focus on the other areas not improved at that time.


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