Riverlights expanding with 700+ homes, commercial space on the horizon
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Drive down River Road in Wilmington and you’ll see how the Riverlights community has grown and where it plans to grow even more.
“It’ll be nice to have the street finished and all the landscaping done so it looks nice,” said Jonathan Betts, who moved into his home at Riverview Townes two years ago. Lately, his neighborhood has turned into a construction site.
The added units in his neighborhood are only the beginning. Across the street, the Del Webb community is expected to run out of lots to sell by the end of the year. A bit farther down River Road, hundreds of more homes are on their way.
While Betts doesn’t mind the construction noise, he hopes RIverlight’s amenities will keep up.
“It’d be nice to have another pool area,” said Betts. “There’s only one small pool for everybody that lives in Riverlights, so it would be nice to have another pool and some parks. I think they’ve got a dog area planned, too. That’ll be nice when it’s done.”
In May, developers announced plans for 7Bridge, a commercial site that will help serve the more than 700 homes coming to the southern end of Riverlights by 2024. Also on the 120-acre site will be two new housing developments, Argento and The Cottages.
Argento will cover 17 acres, bringing up to 286 new luxury apartments to River Road. Developers hope to finish that project by 2024.
Meanwhile, The Cottages start pre-leasing as early as this fall. That development is described as the Port City’s first single-family home for-rent community, consisting of over 279 houses.
“We are developing this as a pedestrian-friendly lifestyle and convenient commercial center that elevates the everyday for our Riverlights community and the surrounding area,” said a statement from Riverlights vice president of operations Nick Cassala. “We anticipate national brands and franchises will want to locate here, as well as independent entrepreneurs.”
Making sure there’s more commercial space to balance out the area isn’t the only thing on developers’ minds. Ensuring homes are safe from floodwater is a top priority, too. Homes being built as part of phases 7 and 8 will have to be built two feet above base flood elevation.
In total, those phases will bring 424 homes to the area. The land they’ll be built on is zoned for moderate density residential use -- allowing lots to range from 3,000 to 15,000 square feet with 10 feet separating each home.
Right now, proposed plans for those phases include on-street parking to avoid driveway spaces. That may lead to concern from some residents who say parking is already an issue in parts of the development.
“I mean, there’s a lot of traffic here and to be quite honest, over where all the restaurants and things are, there’s not really enough parking,” said Betts. “If there’s an event, it gets really bad here -- lots of people looking for parking and things like that.”
Other than his concerns about parking, Betts doesn’t mind welcoming new neighbors to the area. Still, he looks forward to the day construction crews move out.
“It’ll be nice to have the street finished and all the landscaping done so it looks nice.”
Judging by the continued growth of the community, that could be years down the line.
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