DeWitt to Develop Luxury Apartments in Wilmington, NC

Downtown Wilmington, N.C., will soon get a brand new addition to its in-demand pool of multi-family offerings, now that DeWitt Carolinas has revealed plans to commence development of Pier 33 Apartments this fall.

Pier 33Downtown Wilmington, N.C., will soon get a brand new addition to its in-demand pool of multi-family offerings, now that DeWitt Carolinas Inc. has revealed plans to commence development of Pier 33 Apartments this fall. DeWitt will spend $50 million to develop the 300-unit luxury apartment community, which will sit along Cape Fear River.

It’s got the right location. The six-story building will sprout up overlooking the historic Pier 33 Marina, just a stone’s throw from the new 107,000-square-foot Wilmington Convention Center and within walking distance of the Cape Fear Community College, the sixth largest community college in the State of North Carolina. And it has the right offerings as, in addition to the premier apartment units, the J. Davis Architects-designed property will feature 32,000 square feet of ground-level retail space and a 700-space parking deck for residents and retail users.

Pier 33 also has good timing. “Wilmington went through a period of about four years without having any new apartments built so we’re kind of making up for lost time,” Richard Cotton, managing director of real estate services firm Multifamily Realty Advisors, told Commercial Property Executive. “The Wilmington apartment market recovered long before the economy recovered because there was no new development. And Wilmington has had tremendous population growth. People keep moving to Wilmington and we really had a shortage, so much of the new development is certainly warranted.”

Wilmington also has a not-so-secret secret that buoys its multi-family market: the film industry. The city is home to EUE/Screen Gems Studios, the country’s largest independent studio outside of California.

Luxury apartments are in particular demand in the city. “We have some upscale areas but a real shortage of upscale apartments,” Cotton added. Another project, Symphony Properties L.L.C.’s 278-unit Sawmill Point Apartments, is being developed to answer the increasingly loud cry for accommodations. “It’s safe to say there will be ample demand for the new units.”

Pier 33 is scheduled to reach completion approximately 16 months after the start of construction. “We are fortunate to have an immense amount of support in the successful launch of this project,” Courtney Millwood, development manager with DeWitt, told CPE.