Retail unit slated for Atlantic View development in Wrightsville Beach

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A business focusing on retail offerings will occupy the commercial space at the Atlantic View condominium complex now under construction by Johnnie Mercer’s Pier on Wrightsville Beach’s Salisbury Street.

As part of the conditions for constructing the residential building on commercially-zoned land, the developers committed to devoting one of the units for a commercial rental. During the Feb. 5 Wrightsville Beach Planning Board meeting, developer D. Logan told the board that the unit designated for commercial would feature a retail outlet that in addition to selling towels, chairs, toys, bathing suits and other beach gear, could also offer food and coffee, as well as surfboard rentals.

The retail unit will be one of 22 on the property, split into 11 duplexes. The retail unit will be the easternmost one on Salisbury Street, with an entrance way that will connect to the ramp leading to Johnnie Mercer’s Pier.

During the meeting, the board approved three changes to the project, including one that would

The area that would have been a deck on the commercial unit would now be enclosed, providing more area for retail display, Logan said.

Another approved change would add a driveway to the most western unit on Seagull Street, as Logan explained that the common driveway into the fenced-in complex didn’t provide enough room for turns for that unit. The board also approved adding a sidewalk in the area bordering the Shark Bar & Kitchen at 13 E. Salisbury St., providing an easy route for residents on the Seagull Street side to access the businesses there.

Before approving the Atlantic View project in October 2017, the town’s planning board insisted that it include some commercial element, after rejecting a plan that featured an exclusively retail format.

Developers responded by designating one of the 22 units as exclusively commercial, with retail or a restaurant being the most likely tenant. Zone commercial, the lot at 19 E. Salisbury St. had been empty for more than 10 years after a hotel on the site closed and was demolished.  While developers worked on a plan for the site, a temporary structure on the property housed King’s Beachwear, which sold beach gear and souvenirs. That building burned down in 2016.

Approved on a 4-1 vote, the Atlantic View achieved town approval with a residential concept after the town rejected a mixed-use project with more commercial after developers said they would have to exceed the 40-foot limit. Former alderman Lisa Weeks was the only dissenting vote, arguing that the commercially-zoned lot needed more than the 4-8 percent commercial space proposed by Atlantic View developers.

Also during the meeting, the board reelected Jim Smith as the chairman and voted David Culp for vice chairman, replacing outgoing member Jeff Degroote, while newly-appointed member Cheryl Koballa joined the board for her first meeting.

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