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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

Proposed Brunswick County development moves forward, grows up to 3,400 units

The newly expanded Rice Creek development.
Planning Document
Brunswick County Planning Department
The newly expanded Rice Creek development.

A major Brunswick County residential development that’s been on hold since the 2008 housing crash is back on track and has gotten bigger.

When first approved in 2006, the proposed Rice Creek development included 2,736 residential units -- 1,654 single-family and 1,082 multifamily. With the market now hotter than ever (and a shortage of inventory added to the mix) the developers are restarting the project and want to add 664 units to the planned community, which is off U.S. 17, north of the N.C. 87 intersection.

That larger version of Rice Creek passed a hurdle Monday night when the Brunswick County Planning Board voted to approve the request to modify the original plans.

The updated plans call for 1,999 single-family lots, 60 duplexes, 641 townhomes, and 700 multi-family units for a total of 3,400 residential units.

The addition means the 1,296-acre development would be denser, increasing from 2.1 units per acre to 2.6 units per acre. Water and sewer will be provided by the county and roads will be private, according to Planning Department documents.

The land is made up of three parcels owned by separate limited liability corporations -- Brunswick Stu & Associates, LLC, Bubbas Bogg, LLC, Town Creek Land Partners, LLC. Raleigh attorney Michael G. Sandman is listed as the registered agent for all three. The modification request was made by H&W Design, a Wilminton-based land-planning and site-design firm owned by Thomas D. Harrington and Daniel H. Weeks.

(In Brunswick County, the Planning Board has the authority to approve rezoning requests, planned developments, major subdivisions, and major site plans. Appeals go directly to the Board of Commissioners.)

The Planning Board also approved three other planned developments Monday:

  • Supsura Tract: 118 single-family homes proposed for a 42-acre site off Ash-Little River Road, near the South Carolina line. Land owner: Gregg M. Supsura, Fort Mill, S.C. Overall density: 2.8 units per acre.
  • James Hewett Tract: 250 single-family homes on 67-acre site near Boones Neck Road (SR 1137) and Tanglewood Drive (SR 1291). Owner: James Calvin Hewett, 1201 Holden Beach Road, Supply. Overall density: 3.73 units
  • Glendale Arbor: 173 single-family homes and 1.3 acres of commercial area on 138-acre site at 2127 Lott St., Supply (southeast of Shallotte). Owner: NC 138 LLC, Myrtle Beach, S.C. Overall density: 1.27 units per acre.

According to county documents, both the Supsura and Glendale Arbor tracts are in the study area of the Carolina Bays Parkway Extension. The joint project by the North Carolina and South Carolina transportation departments would extend the Carolina Bays Parkway (S.C. 31) from S.C. 9 in Horry County across the North Carolina line to U.S. 17 in Brunswick County.

Consideration of the Anderson Tract -- 216 townhomes on 67.23 acres off Hickman Road -- was tabled at the applicant's request. According to county records, the land is owned by Deborah Anderson, 2 Hickman Road, NW, Calabash.

The board also approved two rezoning requests:

  • 0.5 acres at Lakeside Avenue SW and Oxpen Road SW (SR 1140) near supply from CLD (Commercial Low Density) to R-6000 (High Density Residential).
  • 121.06 acres located off Green Lewis Road (SR 1512) near Bolivia from R-7500 (Medium Density Residential) to RR (Rural Residential).

A rezoning request 3.44 acres located off Ocean Highway West (US 17) near Supply from MR 3200 (Multifamily Residential) and CLD (Commercial Low Density) to CLD (Commercial Low Density) was tabled due to the applicant's absence.

Scott Nunn is an award-winning independent journalist and regular contributor to WHQR News, Greater Wilmington Business Journal, and Greater Fayetteville Business Journal. A Wilmington native, he graduated from Hoggard High School and UNCW. For most of his career, Scott worked for StarNews Media, where he wore many hats, including copy desk chief, opinion editor, senior reporter, and local-history columnist. In 2020, his last year at the StarNews, he won 1st place for Editorial Writing, 2nd place for City, County Government Reporting (sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center) and 3rd place for Beat Reporting (health care) in the N.C. Press Association journalism awards.