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A Pair of Towers for Downtown Wilmington

By Catherine M. Welch

Wilmington, NC – Designs for a pair of high rises planned for the Wilmington side of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge are making their way through Wilmington's planning department.

The Gateway project goes before the city's Technical Review Committee Thursday morning for its first review.

The waterfront buildings will rise like bookends, surrounding the bridge with a roughly 230-foot tall condominium/hotel on the south side of the bridge, and a 178-foot tall condo rising on the north side.

Plans also show a pair of parking decks, a public boat ramp, restaurants and retail.

John Evans is the developer behind the Gateway project. He says the building's brick and glass design will deliver a more pleasant view from the bridge than what's sitting there now.

Lots of old industrial land, some tanks are visible from the distance. This is a chance to show some positive initiatives and show a dynamic face of Wilmington.

Residents of Old Wilmington is against the project, saying it's too tall for the city's historic district.

Evans is proposing the Gateway project under the city's new Riverfront Mixed Used District zoning.

ROW President Kevin O'Grady says the project fails to qualify for the zoning.

This project so far doesn't meet the requirement of the ordinance as we see it, and it doesn't meet the sprit of the ordinance. Which is to provide functional public space on the riverfront.

The Gateway project plans show a public transportation area, an extention of the riverwalk and some 22 boat slips.