- test :
(Revised January 27 2022)
Over the last 60 years, this property has needed remediation and cleanup, given its history as an industrial site home. In its current state, this property will continue to be a blight-ridden eyesore and environmental liability to Wilmington and New Hanover County.
Admittedly, the community members raising concerns about the project seek to better understand the west bank’s future from local elected and planning officials. In short, their opposition is broader than this specific project. Given that the team proposing the project loves and values our community, we hear and share their concerns and seek to address them.
Most importantly, the project’s exhaustive research and analysis phase will address many of the concerns, especially the environmental/climate change concerns. The timeline below is information to help the public understand where we are, what we must do, and the various thresholds that must be met for this project to move forward.
Upon rezoning approval, the project will officially commence, projected mid- 2022. The estimated completion is 2028.
Design, analysis, and permitting exercises are expected to begin during the second quarter of 2022. This process includes design of the buildings, design and analysis of the site area, a traffic impact analysis, environmental site analysis, and the design of accompanying infrastructure. Following the design, and upon completion of any associated calculations, plans and supporting documents will be verified, then submitted for permit reviews. The reviewing agencies will include groups at the local, state, and federal levels. At a minimum, in order to successfully obtain permits, the project must gain approval for/from:
- Local Technical Review Committee (TRC)
- Floodplain Management/Development
- North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT)
- Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO)
- United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
- Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA)
- CAMA Major Permit
Alone, the CAMA Major Permit package will be reviewed and scrutinized by ten state agencies and four federal agencies. The anticipated timeline for these steps is projected to last nearly 18 months.
Once the necessary permits are in hand, construction can commence near the third quarter of 2023. Construction duration is expected to last roughly five years and be completed in the 2028 calendar year.
Battleship Point is the 8.36-acre landmass at the southernmost point between the Isabelle Holmes Bridge and the Thomas Rhodes Bridge, on the western bank of the Northeast Cape Fear River, directly across from the central business district of Wilmington, North Carolina.
The land is currently zoned I-2 heavy industrial district. In fact, given this designation, a more environmentally harmful project could come with fewer obstacles. KFJ is applying to have the property rezoned to a planned development district. We hope to change this landscape into something beautiful that is no longer an environmental liability for the city and its citizens.
Private funding for pre-development from various sources is in the process of being secured by KFJ Development. Institutional funding will be put out for bid once a full entitlement is achieved.
KFJ Development Group envisions multi-story towers offering a mix of condominiums, apartments, retail, and hospitality to create a vibrant community that celebrates the maritime history and aesthetic of the Cape Fear region. The project will endeavor to remediate and reclaim the riverfront with green space thoughtfully designed landscaping, including extensive water features, a pedestrian mall, riverwalk, and river observation stations.
Citizens have expressed genuine and shared concerns regarding flooding, climate change, tidal fluctuations, wetland protection, sea-level rise, and others relating to this potential development location.
This property in its present form and under its current industrial zoning status is an environmental concern and will be unless it is rezoned and revitalized. We believe our project will be the solution.
As the timeline demonstrates, experts would research, analyze, study, and review all concerns. KFJ Development will defer to the experts to assess risk and advise accordingly. At this stage of development, we have not fully engineered the project to the level of detail required to respond to the genuine environmental concerns fully.
Ecological, Cultural, and Historical Concerns
The experiential goal of this project is to celebrate the Cape Fear River. This includes adapting to the sensitive nature of the river’s ecology and acknowledging its role in the cultural formation of the region while providing a platform for its future evolution. The hope is that creating an experience for visitors and residents where the river plays a central role will foster greater stewardship of its cultural and environmental legacy in the community. We are sensitive to the cultural significance of the contributions made to American culture and history by African Americans who traditionally resided in this area, known as the Gullah Geechee people, and the establishment of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. By formulating a design that fosters a more natural shoreline and providing public access to these areas via an elevated riverwalk, the public will be able to experience this unique site – a prospect not currently possible due to its condition. Furthermore, the plan is to incorporate educational and cultural components to the project program in the form of displays, public art, and spaces devoted to the exhibition of art and music.
The proposed development will provide recreational opportunities and increase tourism, including expanding access to the Battleship North Carolina and Historic Downtown Wilmington.
When urban development was at its height, other city managers resolved to preserve their historic downtowns. We are not trying to change the footprint of the beloved Riverwalk and downtown area. We believe this development, which will be located North of the Battleship from the downtown area, will add to the vibrancy of downtown and provide sustainable growth for our city in a manner that protects, rather than replaces, its historical legacy.
Potential Economic Impact
The Villages at Battleship Point will have a significant impact on employment in the New Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick tri-county area, and a notable benefit to New Hanover County through tax revenue.
With more than 500 condominium units and 300 rental units – 800+ units in total – the project will provide much-needed housing inventory. Condos will include 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units and multiple penthouses.
In an ever-evolving landscape development, it is vital to restore and revitalize this area without further detriment to the surrounding ecological environment and ultimately provide an improved visual aesthetic for the downtown area’s future.
MORE: Villages at Battleship Point FAQ – downloadable PDF