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Conservationists want to buy, preserve, former Cape Fear west bank site of Wilmington Hotel and Spa

From technical plans submitted in December 2021, for the Wilmington Hotel and Spa project.
New Hanover County
From technical plans submitted in December 2021, for the Wilmington Hotel and Spa project.

A community nonprofit organization is aiming to purchase approximately 83 acres on Eagles Island for conservation and public use — but has to raise considerable funding to do so.

Six acres of the overall area was previously slated for development as the Wilmington Hotel and Spa. The plan was to build a 'by-right' development' — meaning it didn't require rezoning to move forward, only technical review by the county. But the project stalled out after it was proposed early last December.

Related: Wilmington Hotel and Spa proposed for west bank of the Cape Fear River

The land is part of Eagles Island, a 3,000 area where conservationists hope to create the Eagles Island Nature Park.

Unique Places to Save, a North Carolina-based nonprofit, is spearheading an effort to raise $16,000,000 by the end of the year to purchase the land on Eagles Island across the Cape Fear River from Historic Downtown Wilmington.

From The Newsroom: Local news collaborations, voices of Williston's alumni, and the future of Eagles Island

Once the land is purchased, Unique Places to Save aims to work with local partners to improve the site for outdoor recreation, education, and the conservation of natural resources.

Diamondback Development, the current landowner, and a developer of coastal resorts across the southeastern U.S, Bobby Ginn, have spent the past four years securing permits, utilities, plans, and county Technical Review Committee approvals for the “Wilmington Hotel and Spa.”

According to Unique Places to Save, if acquisition efforts are unsuccessful, Diamondback Development will continue to work with Bobby Ginn to develop the land. Unique Places to Save says it has placed $100,000 at risk to put the land under contract, but it is in need of public and political support to help acquire and protect this "valuable community asset." The non-profit also says it is pursuing significant grant funding from the North Carolina Land and Water Fund.

Find more information about the project and contributions here.

Camille hails from Long Island, NY where the exuberance of sports season never ended. She graduated from Boston University with a BS in Journalism and double minors in Classical Civilizations and Philosophy. Chasing stories has been a passion of hers since she was little, channeling itself through her art and writing. Camille’s journey in audio is never ending and she’s served as a podcast producer on multiple shows. When she’s not working she enjoys chatting and gaming with friends, reading, and creating digital art.