Site of current Wrightsville Ave ABC store. (Source: Google Maps)
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) -
Plans for future development at the site would potentially move the ABC liquor store on Wrightsville Avenue some 900 feet to the east.
But that small distance would take it out of Wrightsville Beach and into Wilmington.
The ABC store is located at 6730 Wrightsville Ave. The proposed change would move it to 7002 Wrightsville Ave., near the site of the old Galleria.
Though it is not located over the bridge, the store is located on Wrightsville Beach land.
The town owns a few plots of land in what is mostly Wilmington owned property.
This move would bring the store out of Wrightsville Beach and into Wilmington. But, under the terms of an interlocal agreement, Wrightsville Beach would continue to receive tax revenue from the store if it is moved.
Last week, Wilmington officials approved the agreement and Wrightsville Beach approved it Thursday night.
While both towns seem to be on board, many community members are not.
The change would place the liquor store right across from Lumina Station.
Those who live in the area say turning left onto Wrightsville Ave. is already dangerous enough.
"As soon as you turn out to turn left, somebody's right in your face because they've decided to turn," Mimi Perez said. "Putting another business so close, clustering it down at the end of the street, makes it more problematic, especially the fact that they're wanting to increase the size of the ABC store."
Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said major traffic issues are rare in the area, and he does not expect much of an increase in traffic.
"It's moving 900 feet. The revenue from that store will still go to Wrightsville Beach," Saffo said. "Any kind of improvement that the ABC store makes will take into consideration new traffic patterns. In addition to that, any kind of roadway improvements will also help with the alleviation of traffic where people don't cross over into the middle of the road. So there's going to be a lot of work that will go into this."
Saffo also noted that this potential move is a minimum of two years away.