Area residents are concerned about the proposed high-density development to replace the Carolinian Inn

A South Carolina company is looking to redevelop The Carolinian Inn along Market Street in Wilmington.
The Carolinian Inn Motel in Wilmington (Photo: Hannah Patrick/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A South Carolina company is looking to redevelop The Carolinian Inn along Market Street in Wilmington.

Paramounte Engineering and Orange Capital Advisors are offering a 148 unit community of 100 apartments and 48 townhouses on the 8.76 acre parcel. Plans are still in the early stages, but the architect is aiming for three- or four-story apartment buildings with one to two bedrooms. The apartments would be for rent and it has not yet been decided whether the townhouses will be for rent or for sale.

Paramounte hosted a community meeting at The Bridge Church on Wednesday evening for people to come learn about the project, ask questions and share concerns as the developer moves forward with plans for the project. Several people who live in and around Forest Hills came to the meeting, many of whom were concerned about the density of the project.

“Obviously we’re very happy that someone wants to tear down the Carolinian and modernize this area. We’re certainly looking forward to seeing development, but that’s the density,” said Colonial Drive resident Celia Wolff. “When they get to the townhouses and cut down the trees, they’re worried about water runoff. We already have flooding issues in the Forest Hills neighborhood, so there’s a lot of little things that end up become great things when you put them all together.

Although many residents support the idea of ​​redeveloping the property, most agreed that the proposed project did not fit the existing neighborhood. Wolff says the side roads around the property are quite narrow and can already be congested, so she’s not convinced the roads would be able to handle a large influx of new residents.

“I feel like we’re going to have a lot of cars going through Wayne from Wrightsville and right now we’ve got quite a few going through anyway, but you add 148 new units, that’s a lot of people going through ,” Wolff said.

Paramounte representatives referenced Wilmington’s comprehensive city development plan in their presentation. Forest Hills Drive resident Dan Dawson fears the proposed development will set a worrying precedent for future projects.

“That you could do so much intense development next to residential neighborhoods, and if they were able to do that, there’s not a neighborhood left in the whole city of Wilmington that’s going to be stable,” Dawson said.

Representatives at Wednesday’s meeting chose not to comment on WWAY and they advised to come back at the next meeting as the developer with Orange Capital Advisors will in fact be present at the next meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 15 at The Bridge Church from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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