Developer wants to build duplexes next to Wrightsville Beach’s Johnny Mercer Pier

A developer hopes to build 11 duplexes in a vacant lot by the Johnny Mercer Pier in Wrightsville Beach. (Source: Town of Wrightsville Beach)

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) – A developer hopes to build 11 duplexes in a vacant lot by the Johnny Mercer Pier in Wrightsville Beach.

The project, which is called “Atlantic View” in plans submitted to the town’s planning department, would be located at 19 East Salisbury Street.

Rob Fenton is the General Manager at the Silver Gull Motel across the street from the proposed development. He said he wasn’t against new businesses coming to the area, but he thinks a residential development will fit better in the lot.

“This is a very busy parking area in the Summer time, so adding business and not adding parking to it could definitely create some problems for the area in terms of just the number of people that go through,” said Fenton. “As a residential property or a rental property and people parking there at their place to stay and go to the beach, certainly will be a lot easier if there were more business in there.”

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According to planning information submitted by 19 East Salisbury Street, LLC, the duplex would meet the town’s 40-foot height limit. Fenton said the height  could have an effect on his business.

“We are a hotel, and our guests like to look out at the ocean,” said Fenton. “I’m not sure how much of that is going to affect our guests views of the ocean, but that will be seen dependent on the height and type of buildings going in there.”

The project would require a text amendment that would allow a group housing development in a C-2 Zoning District. The project would then need to receive a Conditional Use Permit.

The town’s planning staff recommends approving the project, noting:

  • the site is adjacent to residential duplex and commercial properties
  • the duplex units would have less of an impact on the existing neighborhood than a previously approved mixed-use project
  • the site has been vacant for more than 10 years, and the group housing development “may be the highest and best use of this property”

The planning board will review the project at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

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