Trask Land Company seeks rezoning of former shooting range into potential commercial space

The site seen from United Citizens Bank on Military Cutoff Road. (Port City Daily/Brenna Flanagan).

WILMINGTON — The Mayfaire area could get a little busier if the rezoning of a 4-acre commercial development is approved by the city.

Westfall North, offered by Trask Land Company, is offering 175,000 square feet of retail, dining and office space to be built at 900 Military Cutoff Rd., across from downtown Mayfaire. The land is located between the Lucia Point neighborhood to the north and to the south are businesses located in the Renaissance, including United Community Bank and Blaze Pizza.

The property to be rezoned is one of three parcels owned by Old Maccumber Dump Tract, which is owned by Raiford Trask Jr. The parcels represent approximately 16 acres of connected land on company-owned Old Maccumber Station Road.

The property is near the former Wrightsville Beach landfill used in the 1950s. In 2021 the landfill was purchased by Legg Properties with the intent of providing commercial space for businesses.

The Trask land was formerly used for a range for the Wilmington Gun Club until the 1980s. A connected parcel, not likely to be rezoned, is described as “Ammo Dump Lake” in county property records.

A 2019 North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality report cited 270 tons of hazardous lead impacted the floor of the former range and 8 acres of wetlands. The department has been carrying out rehabilitation actions on the site since the early 2000s.

In 2004, a parcel was transferred to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for $0, but another transaction in 2006 shows the property was sold for $1.3 million. The city obtained the property in 2007 for an undisclosed amount.

According to the application submitted to the Wilmington Planning Commission, the developer is requesting a rezoning of the current single-family residential (R-15) and office and institutional (O&I) property to Community Enterprises (CB).

Approximately 10,000 square feet will be dedicated to general offices and 5,000 to retail and restaurants, depending on demand.

The rezoning submission as indicated in the Trask Land Company application.

The city’s land use planning code states that CB neighborhoods are for retail, office, and personal services adjacent to residential neighborhoods. This would be a less intense rezoning than O&I, reserved for professional offices, medical centers and gathering places, but more intense than the residential zoning of the property and surrounding neighborhoods (areas to the south are also zoned CB)

The application says Westfall North will have “little impact on adjacent neighbours”.

Regarding privacy, the site already has a buffer zone with Lucia Point – a 6ft privacy fence – but will be building an additional one.

The app also says traffic impacts will be “minimal”. The entrance to the site will only be accessible by right turns.

In accordance with the Land Code and Wilmington’s Comprehensive Building Plan, the development plans to provide “walkable services” connecting neighborhoods to military cutoff commerce. It will also use the paved access to the Military Cutoff section of the Cross City Trail already present on site. According to the code, CB districts are also intended to “create convenient, walkable nodes that meet the daily needs of nearby residents.”

Trask Land Company’s New Hanover County portfolio includes The Renaissance and the Autumn Hall mixed-use community, as well as Blue Clay Farms.

Port City Daily contacted the company to ask about what it envisioned for businesses located on the property; the article will be updated when and if the company responds.

The project must be discussed at the next meeting of the planning commission on July 6.

Contact reporter Brenna Flanagan at [email protected]

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