Proposed development on the west bank of the Cape Fear River would change Wilmington’s skyline
WILMINGTON, North Carolina (WECT) – The west bank of the Cape Fear River has been undeveloped for decades, but that could change soon.
Developers are unveiling plans for a massive $ 700 million high-density mixed-use community across from downtown Wilmington.
The company behind The Villages at Battleship Point is currently in the process of shifting the land from industrial to mixed use, but if all goes according to plan, it hopes to put shovels in the ground in 2024.
From there, their first order of business would be to clean up the property, tackle chemical soil contamination, and build a living shoreline to restore the river, all before construction begins.
The proposed buildings would be around 20 stories high, comprising hundreds of condos and apartments, a hotel, retail, museum, restaurants, and amenities like a grocery store to make the area self-sufficient and an attraction in self.
The developers have also expressed interest in a river taxi to transport guests between the villages of Battleship Point and downtown Wilmington.
âI want to rebuild and reinvigorate this river front, and that’s how we started, you know it really started sitting at the Marina Grille and looking across the river and saying “Why has nobody ever done anything with this? “, Explained KFJ technical director of the development group Frank Pasquale.” The restaurants, the convention center, even the amphitheater, you know the city marina, the Marina Grille, you look across the street. river and what do you see? You see a mess.
The property looks more like a junkyard now, but the developers are looking beyond industrial equipment and forgotten debris and envision unique, modern architecture with views of Wilmington’s biggest attractions.
Other developers have tried to build on the land before, but plans fell apart after encountering major obstacles with roads, utilities and flooding.
However, over the past decade water and sewer lines have been made available and DOT’s plan to overhaul the interchange near the Isabel Holmes Bridge has helped this project move forward.
âWe can get sewerage, we can get water, we can move traffic on and off the property. Other people couldn’t get it, âPasquale said.
They also took into account the flooding issues with the innovative design of the complex.
âWhen you actually walk into the middle part of where the buildings are going to be, you’re actually going to drive in a subway – well, you think it’s an underground garage, but it’s at ground level, and what we’re doing is we’re “building the project 40 to 50 feet above it,” Pasquale said.
The entire complex will be larger than anything Wilmington has ever seen, rising to around 20 stories and drawing inspiration from the city’s history and icons like the battleship.
The buildings follow the terrain to a narrow point at the intersection of the two rivers designed to resemble the bow of the battleship.
A 200-foot waterfall flows through the middle of the central plaza, emptying into a series of pools, ponds and a stream before returning to the Cape Fear River, to celebrate the beauty and importance of the river.
âWe want to develop it so that it is a centerpiece for the city. We want to develop it to be a place where people when they come to Wilmington go, ‘Whoah!’ â
A public meeting will be held on this project on Wednesday at Keller Williams’ office on Military Cutoff for the community to come by and ask questions.
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