Developers request special use permit for complex on Wrightsville Ave.


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A proposed mixed-use development ON Wrightsville Avenue in New Hanover County has some residents concerned that it will come at a personal price to them.

Developers are requesting a special-use permit to build a 75-foot hotel on the property, which struck a chord with a lot of people.

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“Why do we need a special use permit and why do we need to go higher?” Diane Zaryki, who lives across the street from the property, said.

“I’m excited about the development,” Colleen Britton, who also lives across the street, said. “I think if it’s done properly and it’s done right, it could definitely benefit everyone here.”

Neighbors who live nearby had mixed feelings about the complex, which would go on the property where the old ABC store is and the neighboring property. The properties sit right near the intersection of Wrightsville Avenue and Military Cutoff Road.

“When we talk about a 75-foot hotel and a massive development going on a road that is so congested we can’t move, there’s a lot of very concerned residents in the area,” Zaryki said.

Zaryki was one of dozens at a public meeting Monday night, who expressed concerns about the height of the hotel.

Britton agreed, saying she would prefer the hotel to be lower in height

“I think most people are on the fence about about the hotel wanting to go up another three stories,” Britton said.

Developers from State Street Companies explained the plans for the property at the meeting. They are requesting a special use permit to raise the height of the hotel to 75 feet, which could mean six or seven stories.

Another fear was the traffic getting even worse.

“We’ve got major concerns with traffic problems that have been existing forever, and we’re not hearing any answers to that,” Zaryki said.

“The problem is Military Cutoff is right here and Wrightsville gets backed up really bad during rush hour, and we’re right there, so we just don’t see how they’re going to help that flow of traffic,” Britton said.

Developers say they want Wrightsville Avenue to be a street where people want to come to, but Zaryki worries it will cost her her privacy.

“We understand that this is going to be developed,” Zaryki said. “It’s urban mixed-use. We need to know what that height requirement is.”

Britton is keeping an open mind, but hopes the development can benefit everyone.

“I personally prefer the four stories and to keep it very community and not overdevelop it,” Britton said.

The developers say they have been trying to work with the City of Wilmington on who will be responsible for making necessary traffic changes.

The request for the special use permit will go up for a vote before City Council on January 21.