Area residents concerned about high-density proposed development to replace The Carolinian Inn

A company out of South Carolina is looking to redevelop The Carolinian Inn along Market Street in Wilmington.
The Carolinian Inn Motel in Wilmington (Photo: Hannah Patrick/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A company out of South Carolina is looking to redevelop The Carolinian Inn along Market Street in Wilmington.

Paramounte Engineering and Orange Capital Advisors are proposing a 148-unit community of 100 apartments and 48 townhomes on the 8.76-acre parcel. The plans are still in the early phases, but the architect is aiming for three or four-story apartment buildings consisting of one to two bedrooms. The apartments would be for rent and it has not yet been decided if the townhomes would be for rent or for sale.

Paramounte hosted a community meeting at The Bridge Church on Wednesday night for people to come out to learn more about the project, ask questions, and share their concerns as the developer moves forward with the project plans. Several people who live in the Forest Hills neighborhood and surrounding areas came out to the meeting, many with concerns about the density of the project.

“Obviously, we’re very excited that somebody wants to tear down the Carolinian and upgrade that area. We definitely are eager for some development, but it’s the density,” Colonial Drive resident Celia Wolff said. “When they get to the townhomes and tearing down the trees and there’s concerns about the water runoff. We already have flooding issues in the Forest Hills neighborhood so it’s a lot of little things that end up to be big things when you put them all together.”

While many of the residents support the idea of redeveloping the property, most agreed the proposed project did not fit the existing neighborhood. Wolff says the side roads around the property are pretty narrow and can already get congested, so she isn’t confident the roads would be able to support a large influx of new residents.

“I feel like we’re going to have a lot of cars cutting through Wayne from Wrightsville and right now we have quite a few that come through there anyways, but you add 148 new units, that’s a lot of people cutting through,” Wolff said.

Representatives from Paramounte referenced the City of Wilmington’s Comprehensive Development Plan in their presentation. Forest Hills Drive resident Dan Dawson worries the proposed development would set a concerning precedent for future projects.

“That you can do so much intense development adjacent to residential neighborhoods, and if they were to be successful in doing it, there’s not a neighborhood in the entire City of Wilmington that will be stable anymore,” Dawson said.

The representatives at Wednesday’s meeting opted not to comment to WWAY and they advised to check back at the next meeting because the developer with Orange Capital Advisors will actually be present at the next meeting planned for Wednesday, June 15 at The Bridge Church from 5 pm to 7 pm.

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