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Villages at Battleship Point developer pulls annexation request from Leland

Villages at Battleship Point developer pulls annexation request from Leland
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 2:03 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - It’s a development that would transform the western banks of the Cape Fear River and could have brought part of the Town of Leland into New Hanover County --- now --- developer KFJ Development Group has withdrawn a request to annex the land into Leland town limits.

The Villages at Battleship Point is a proposed mixed-use development that would include “Three multi-story towers: 550 condominium units, 300 apartments, retail/commercial/hospitality space to include a luxury hotel,” according to the developer’s website.

Leland Town Manager confirmed the developers withdrawal of the request, and said this had nothing to do with the town staff or Town Council.

“This is their decision to make, they made this decision to withdraw these applications and not have any further discussion with the council or the town at this time,” he said. “There was no reason given, simply they asked to withdraw their applications.”

Just because the application has been withdrawn, it does not mean the developers can’t move forward with the project, even in Leland if they wanted to.

“They’d have to resubmit an application and they can do that in the future if they wanted to and it would go right back through the process again,” Hollis said.

The withdraw of the request does not signal the end of the project, KFJ was also seeking approval from New Hanover County to move forward with the development. The developers submitted the request to the Town of Leland following a recommended the denial of a rezoning request from New Hanover Planning Board in December of 2021.

It’s not something seen often, a developer making efforts in two counties to get a project approved and some have asked if the annexation request was done to encourage New Hanover County to approve the project, or lose out on tax revenue. Leland Town Manager David Hollis doesn’t think that is the case.

“I don’t think so, we had some pretty good discussions with the applicants and they seemed genuine in their effort to come to Leland,” he said.

In April, Kirk Pugh of KFJ confirmed all options were still on the table despite the company slowing down on the annexation request.

Pugh also said he would be sending a press release with a statement from the company regarding the decision, but at the time of publication, it has not been sent to WECT. This story will be updated once that information is received.

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