A long-awaited mixed-use development is moving forward on the site of the former Galleria shopping center near Wrightsville Beach.
Charlotte-based developer State Street Companies submitted plans for the project’s first phase to the city of Wilmington for review last month. The project would bring a five-story building with 366 apartments along with 5,000 square feet of retail space to the currently vacant site.
State Street Companies owns roughly 30 acres of land along Wrightsville Avenue. The company is behind a 12-acre neighborhood called Airlie at Wrightsville Sound — a project that ran up against strong opposition from neighbors as it went before the Wilmington Planning Commission and city council for the needed rezoning.
The recently submitted plans detail the proposed development on the former Galleria site. The first phase of the project takes up just over 6 acres of the nearly 14-acre site, according to plans. The project being built between 6730 and 6800 Wrightsville Avenue is set to be built in three phases.
The Galleria shopping center was demolished in 2015. Since then, the footprint of the shopping center and its paved parking lot has sat empty.
The center, which was built in 1986, was one of the first developments built in the area as surrounding subdivisions like Landfall grew. The 97,864-square-foot space was initially anchored by Harris Teeter and Eckerd Drugs, but had become “antiquated over time,” according to then-owner Equity One Inc.
In 2013, State Street Companies bought the property for $3.76 million. At the time, the property was part of Wrightsville Beach.
Equity One Inc., asked the Wrightsville Beach leaders to de-annex the mainland property for a mixed-use development, but the board unanimously voted down the request. Then in 2014, Wrightsville Beach and the city of Wilmington signed-off on a deal for the land to become part of Wilmington.
When the land was annexed into Wilmington, city leaders assigned the tract a mixed-use development zoning, which allows for projects that include multiple uses like residential and retail.
In 2020, the company had submitted a request for a special use permit to build a seven-story luxury hotel on the site but withdrew the application following pushback from neighboring residents. Plans for the hotel are not included in the recently submitted plans.
A breakdown of units shows the project will include 232 one-bedroom apartments, 111 two-bedrooms and 23 three-bedroom units. Plans also include a more than 3,300 square foot “sky terrace,” a pool and passive courtyards. The project will have 479 residential parking spaces and 25 retail spaces, according to site plans.
Plans for the project are set to go before Wilmington’s technical review committee next week.
State Street Companies has a history of rental development in Wilmington. The company previously developed the Reserve at Mayfaire apartment complex and the Village at Mayfaire condo complex.
Reporter Emma Dill can be reached at 910-343-2096 or [email protected].