Commercial rise in Surf City

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From his office in the Surf City Municipal Complex, City Manager Kyle Breuer can see evidence that commercial development is on the rise in and around the coastal town of Pender County.


“As we speak, I’m looking out my window and they’re unloading materials for a new PetSmart right in front of City Hall, and then around the corner in front of Publix, you’ve got a brand new car wash going on,” Breuer said. end of June. “And then across the street we have a new candy store that’s supposed to be built.”


Beyond the nearby Walmart, excavators are working on a site where apartments will be built.


“I think Surf City certainly serves as a commercial hub, and I think what we’re seeing is more and more, there’s really no shoulder season or off-season for people here at Surf City,” he said. “It’s more of a year-round population, and people are demanding those goods and services that these commercial enterprises are able to provide.”


Surf City has approximately 3,800 year-round residents, increasing to 30,000 during the summer months. The city, which is located in both Pender and Onslow counties and includes parts of the mainland and Topsail Island, was founded in 1949. Until a new bridge opened in December 2018 , the island area of ​​the city was accessible via a 1950s swing bridge crossing the Intracoastal Waterway.


Surf City attracts people wanting to use goods and services not only from Topsail Island, but also from the county towns of Onslow, Sneads Ferry and Holly Ridge, according to the town manager.


In another example of commercial development, a luxury hotel opened on the Topsail Island portion of Surf City over Memorial Day weekend in May.


Saltwater Suites at 605 N. Topsail Drive is a 48-room, 84-bed condo-style resort “offering five-star accommodations,” according to a press release.


“We are extremely proud of what our team has accomplished over the past 15 months of construction,” Saltwater Suites developer Richard Stroupe said in the release. “The Topsail Island community has been nothing but supportive. We appreciate the opportunity to introduce them to Saltwater Suites.


According to the statement, Stroupe is a local entrepreneur and owner of the Loggerhead Inn and Suites in Surf City.


“The boutique motel’s 2020 renovation inspired Stroupe to design and develop Saltwater Suites, a new oceanfront suite concept,” the statement read.


As for what kind of businesses and development residents want, a pending update could help provide some direction.


“We are working with the Cape Fear Council of Governments to do a comprehensive update to the land use plan, which was most recently adopted in 2005,” Breuer said. “And a lot of the growth and development of the continent wasn’t really there then. So it was an opportunity for us to really see what Surf City could look like in the next 20 and 30 years.

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