Construction begins on a new Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Leland Town Center, a multi-phase development off US 17.
Lowe’s and real estate owner C&S Commercial Properties reached an agreement in late June, according to Palmer Williams, vice president of the Fayetteville-based development company.
Lowe’s Home Centers LLC submitted plans to the city last year for a 113,860 square foot building with a 27,720 square foot garden center. The city issued the project preliminary zoning approval in late 2021, according to a city spokesperson.
Construction on the project began last week, according to Lowe’s spokesman Larry Costello. “This is a prototype Lowe’s store with tool rentals,” he said. The store is expected to open in the second half of 2023, according to Costello, making it the fourth location in the Wilmington area.
Besides the home improvement store – the first in town – Leland Town Center also landed its first Leland stores from other notable retailers including Chick-fil-A and Starbucks. Other tenants in the development include Dental Care, Firehouse Subs and AT&T. Carolina Shores Car Wash recently purchased a parcel that was part of the original development, according to Williams.
Construction of two additional buildings behind Starbucks will begin in the coming months. The buildings, 10,000 and 4,500 square feet, are expected to be completed by summer 2023, Williams said.
The company recently signed a lease with HOTWORX, a 24-hour infrared fitness center with stores across the United States and three in Wilmington. HOTWORX will move into the smallest building in the strip upon completion. “We are getting strong activity from restaurants, retailers and service uses for these buildings and we look forward to announcing new businesses coming to Leland very soon,” Williams said.
Williams said his team is working diligently to start the next phase of downtown Leland development “despite roadblocks to offsite road improvements following a financial partnership that city officials were entering into with another developer to complete their offsite improvements.” A spokesperson for Leland said the city was not aware of any barriers created for C&S Commercial associated with the planned roadway improvements.
This spring, the city reached an agreement with the developers of the adjacent but unrelated Leland Corners. City officials chose to request improved road improvements, a single-lane teardrop roundabout at the intersection of Ocean Gate Plaza and New Pointe Boulevard, to address traffic safety concerns in the region.
In February, the city council agreed to pay for and install the improvements that go beyond what was required of the developer. The developer, a subsidiary of Twin Rivers Capital, will pay the city $94,554, representing the cost of road improvements it would otherwise have had to install. A city spokesperson said the total cost the city would pay is unknown because the project is in the design phase.
For the adjacent portion of Leland Town Center, Williams said C&S Commercial was tasked with upgrading Highway 17, installing Gateway Boulevard with a dual-lane roundabout, connecting with Tradeway Drive and widening Ploof Road. Soon the team will add another roundabout and a median to Ocean Gate Boulevard, he said, adding that the road improvements have all taken place “without any taxpayer assistance.”
“We hope to minimize construction disruption and alleviate long-term traffic issues for nearby residents,” Williams said. “We look forward to the future of downtown Leland and are excited to bring residents the new businesses they have long wanted.”