Major development planned on 23 acres along Eastwood Rd

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — One million square feet of shopping, apartments, restaurants, office space and more could be coming to Military Cutoff and Eastwood Roads in Wilmington.

Swain & Associates announced plans today to build CenterPoint, a $150 million, 1-million-square-foot mixed-use development.

It would be based on 23 acres.

“This tract of land is the best piece of undeveloped property in New Hanover County,” David Swain, owner of Swain & Associates, said in a news release. “We named it CenterPoint because we believe it will be a new center of activity in our region and will exemplify the type of mixed-use development that the City of Wilmington is working to attract to our community – ones that feature the right mix of compatible uses, are compact, pedestrian and bike friendly, accessible to transit, and well connected to adjacent neighborhoods and roadways.”

The development would be based along Drysdale Drive, a new, four-lane road with median that is one of two designs being considered by NC Department of Transportation to alleviate the traffic and congestion at the existing Military and Eastwood intersection. The Drysdale Drive extension will connect Military Cutoff and Eastwood Roads and is an alternative to an elevated highway over the intersection, which according to DOT data, would cost considerably more and would take longer to construct.

On Tuesday, the developer submitted a request to the City of Wilmington to rezone the CenterPoint property from R-15 to UMX.

Key features of the project include:

  • 7-story, full service hotel with 200 beds
  • 300 apartments (one, two, and 3 bedroom) located above retail space
  • 50 to 60 retail shops and restaurants, national chains and local boutiques
  • 75,000 sq ft medical services building
  • 31,6000 st ft of office space
  • Multi-level parking for 1,450 cars
  • Surface parking for 275 cars

The development would be right between the Eastport subdivision and Cambridge Bay Retirement Community.

“One desirable thing about this neighborhood is a walkability,” Eastport HOA President Scott McConnell said. “You know, we can walk to Starbucks. We can walk to a grocery store.”

Swain & Associates Owner David Swain said it includes a 7-story hotel, 300 apartments, 50-60 retail shops and restaurants, office and medical space, and parking. Swain said they are all things the City of Wilmington said it wants in its 2016 comprehensive plan.

“They wanted to focus on growing inward, upward,” Swain said. “They wanted to integrate land uses. They wanted to reduce traffic congestion. They wanted to improve housing and the ability to work and shop all within the same options.”

Eastport HOA President Scott McConnell said this is not the first time someone has tried to develop that land.

“It makes sense that everyone wants to be here,” McConnell said. “This property is prime property, and it’s going to be developed sooner or later. I’d just rather it’d be later than sooner.”

If it is going to be sooner, McConnell wants to make sure certain concerns are addressed.

“Traffic issues are addressed and our neighborhood is taken care of,” McConnell said. “I don’t know how that might happen, but there’s going to be changes.”

Traffic and enhancing the community are both things Swain said he has already taken into account. Swain said there will be six entrances into CenterPoint.

“I will not do anything other than try to enhance the quality of life for you, me, my neighbors and the City of Wilmington,” Swain said.

Pending all approvals, construction should start in 2019, concurrently with the DOT extension of Drysdale Drive.

Earlier this month developers of the avenue project just up Military Cutoff delayed their plans after city planners decided that proposal would have too much impact on traffic in the area.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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