Castle Street property redevelopment moves forward to next stage

Castle Street update

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Wilmington City Council approved a resolution to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hipp Architecture & Development, PC to redevelop the property at 1110 Castle Street.

The MOU will provide structure for finalization of the proposed project redevelopment plans.

After resolving some initial concerns with site conditions during the exploration phase, the developer requested additional time to conduct a Phase ll Environmental Assessment.

The Environmental Assessment, completed by Woods engineers, examined soil contamination from fuel around the above-ground fuel tank and to the existing rear of the property.

The property was a former bus depot belonging to Wave Transit.

One of the actions outlined in the MOU is that the developer must finalize and submit project plans to North Carolina Division of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) to address the concerns and obtain a brownfield agreement.

On June 4, 2020, the developer submitted revisions to the proposed plan that included increasing the residential units from 18-20 to 24 units; reducing the new commercial space from 7,200 sq. ft. to 4,206 sq.ft.; renovating the front building to offer nine retails spaces; and developing the rear building to serve as the new home for a local community service agency that will include a public meeting space.

The new proposal also added three handicap accessible residential units and increased parking to a total of 57 spaces.

No changes were made to the project partnership: Hipp Architecture & Development, PC, Cape Fear Land Trust, and Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity.

The target market for the residential properties is mixed income.

Habitat for Humanity intends to sell or lease 14 of the units to families that make less than 80 percent of the area median income; the remaining units will be sold or leased at current market rates.

During the exploration phase, the developer engaged with the community and sought public input.

In response to public input, the developer has actively worked to recruit commercial tenants that would meet community needs.

The Developer has requested a further 90 days to work under the MOU while completing a more formal Purchase and Development Agreement (PDA).

The PDA would then be back before City Council for consideration in September of this year.

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