Old movie theater could become Wilmington’s next mixed-use development

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A long-abandoned movie theater in Wilmington could soon have new life as living space.

Evolve Companies wants to turn the old theater on Oleander Drive into a mixed-use development, according to the agenda for tomorrow’s Wilmington City Council meeting. The theater has been closed for more than a decade.

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The company wants to rezone the 8.87 acres located at 5335 and 5429 Oleander Drive in a project that would bring three 4-story structures with 5,600 square feet of commercial/retail space and 223 residential units. Evolve wants to rezone the property from its existing state as a community business district, which generally can accommodate larger retail and commercial services, to an office and institutional district, which are conducive to the establishment and operation of institutional, office and limited commercial use.

Evolve hosted a community meeting on February 20. The Planning Commission held a public hearing regarding this conditional district rezoning on March 20. The Planning Commission recommends conditional approval of the request, with a modified condition of adding driving connection to French Road and requiring an improved bicycle and pedestrian access to French Road to offset the congestion on Oleander Drive.

The site is currently serving as a commercial parking lot with a vacant movie theatre building and a transit stop.



The proposal is scheduled for public hearing at the City Council meeting scheduled Tuesday night.