Wilmington is growing: Echo Farms, riverside condos, and a huge Harris Teeter

Wilmington is growing: Echo Farms, riverside condos, and a huge Harris Teeter

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Wilmington area is growing in population as more people move to the Port City, and developers are keeping up with new housing and business projects. Here is the latest information on a few developments in Wilmington:

Echo Farms one step closer to construction

Residents of Echo Farms had enjoyed the vacant land during a construction limbo until earlier this week when more signs went up indicating certain areas are private property.


Surveyors were seen on the former golf course property on Thursday.

"The first reaction is disappointment and anger that it's even happening and that they're getting clear signs now," said Beth Ann Hillman, a 20-year resident of Echo Farms. "Since late fall, we were able to use the golf course, and walk. Several people would go out and hit balls, play frisbee, walk their dogs and the reality now has started to settle in that it's going to be developed."

A legal battle between residents and a developer ended last September in the closing of the Echo Farms Golf Course, to the dismay of many people who owned homes on the course.

"They bought here in the hopes of having and raising kids and bringing grandchildren into an environment of pool, tennis, and free open space, and golf," said Hillman. "This is middle-class America. We should have been able to keep the golf course that we bought. I think that's where a lot of the anger is coming from."

In January, New Hanover County Commissioners voted to support a purchase of 18 acres of land, including tennis courts, a clubhouse, and a pool.

WECT has reached out to Matrix Development Group for the latest information on its project, but we have not heard back.

Matrix has given Echo Farms residents permission to host an Easter egg hunt Saturday on the golf course, according to Hillman.

Construction approved for RiverPlace condos in Downtown Wilmington

Last week, the city officially gave the developer approval to begin construction on a mixed-use development at North Water St. and Chestnut St., said Glenn Harbeck, director of planning, development and transportation with the City of Wilmington.

N. Water St. between Chestnut St. and Grace St. is closed until late April while construction is ongoing.

In late 2017, citizen archaeologists discovered a historical freshwater spring at the site. The developer promised to incorporate a portion of the remains into the new housing and retail development.

Kmart will become student housing, but we don't know when

Wilmington city planners haven't heard officially from Cape Fear Development since October 2017, when the city's technical review committee reviewed plans to turn the former Kmart site into mixed-used development college housing.

"Our last formal contact was in October," said Harbeck. The project engineer is waiting for further direction from the developer.

WECT reached out Cape Fear Development, and we haven't heard back.

Huge Harris Teeter

One of the largest Harris Teeter grocery stores in North Carolina is set to be built at the intersection of Independence Boulevard and Carolina Beach Road.

"The city is now reviewing resubmitted plans," said Harbeck. The technical review committee received the resubmitted plans on March 16.

Earth Fare grocery store

This week, Wilmington city leaders gave approval for the developer to begin construction of an Earth Fare grocery store in Renaissance Market on the northeast corner of Military Cutoff Road and Sir Tyler Drive.

Two Lidl grocery stores

A Lidl grocery store on Eastwood Road is still in the planning stage as the developer is waiting for the revised prototypical store before proceeding, according to Harbeck.

Another Lidl store on 17th St. and College Road is also in the planning stage, and Harbeck said the city hasn't heard from developers since June 2017.

"The site has been cleared, but we haven't heard any updates," said Harbeck. There is no construction taking place there now.

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