Developers looking to build a trio of high-rise condominiums on the Cape Fear River’s west bank across from downtown Wilmington have withdrawn their zoning and annexation requests they had submitted to the town of Leland.
Kirk Pugh of KFJ Development Group said the group had decided to wait and see how things shake out in New Hanover County, where commissioners are expected to hold a second work session to discuss the future of the west bank, according to local media reports.
Leland’s town clerk has verified that the group’s annexation petition is valid and sufficient and staff recommend council accept a certificate of sufficiency for the annexation request, according to information posted on the town’s website.
Information included on the council’s April 14 agenda includes a staff recommendation that the town schedule a public hearing on the annexation request at the board’s May 19 meeting.
A town spokesperson did not return a call seeking comment in time for this report Friday.
New Hanover County commissioners in January tabled KFJ’s request to create a new zoning district and rezone the property, known as Point Peter, within that district. Instead, commissioners decided to hold work sessions to talk about future development of the Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear rivers.
KFJ took its request to Leland, which is across the river in Brunswick County. In February, the town’s planning board members voted 4-3 to recommend the developers’ request to create a River Urban Mixed-Use zoning district and annex the land.
New Hanover County commissioners held their first work session March 31, where local, state and federal officials and geologists addressed their questions about the west bank.
The more than 8-acre site is situated just north of the Battleship North Carolina at the confluence of the Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear rivers.
KFJ is eyeing the site to build a mixed-use development that would include a trio of high-rise condominiums.
Opponents of that proposal argue the property — and the entirety of the west bank — lies within the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, flood plain and is particularly vulnerable to the impending effects of sea level rise.
Developers say the west bank, much of which is zoned industrial, is an eyesore.
KFJ received a Coastal Area Management Act, or CAMA, minor permit to remove large debris from Point Peter, the former site of a longtime marine repair and salvage operation. So far, about 400 tons of trash and other material has been moved off the site.