Restaurant, commercial pier proposed for longtime vacant Wrightsville Beach property

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - A building that has sat vacant for several years on West Salisbury Street in Wrightsville Beach could soon be transformed into a restaurant with a commercial pier.

On Tuesday, the Town of Wrightsville Beach Planning Board considered a conditional use permit requested by the property owner of the former convenience store located at 100 West Salisbury Street to renovate the property and operate a restaurant at the location.

A property record search shows the building is owned by WB Waterman LLC, whose president is Reggie Barnes, a former professional skateboarder who owns Eastern Skateboard Supply.

No decision was made Tuesday. The applicant asked for a continuance after hearing concerns from the public and planning board.

The applicant can come back for a reopened public hearing on April 3.

The town's Board of Aldermen has previously denied at least two other proposals for the property, including a conditional use permit for a mixed-use development in 2014, and a rezoning request in 2015.

For this new proposal, planning staff has recommended the board forward a "favorable recommendation" to the Board of Aldermen, which would give the project its final stamp of approval.

Wrightsville Beach resident Ray Harris said he would welcome the proposed makeover.

"It's been sort of an eyesore," Harris said. "Just to have activity there would be good instead of a place for people to hang out and loiter. To see something there bringing more tax base to the community would be great and I think it'll be good for Wrightsville Beach."

If approved, the restaurant would offer both indoor and outdoor dining with a total of 32 seats. The attached commercial pier would have nine boat slips.

"The new restaurant and boat docks will offer a drastic improvement to the existing property which has been vacant for many years," the property owner wrote in a conditional use permit application. "Creating a family oriented, community gathering place will enliven the area and increase property values within the neighborhood. Properties in the immediate vicinity will not only maintain the use and enjoyment of their properties but will find enhanced uses and opportunities."

Restaurant seating would end at 10 p.m. and no alcohol would be served after 11 p.m., should the proposal pass as it stands now.

"I'd love to see this lot developed. It's been a long time coming," Stuart Werner, who frequents the Wrightsville Beach loop, said.

Copyright 2018 WECT. All rights reserved.