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Real Estate - Commercial

More Commercial Development Coming To Leland

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Nov 9, 2020
Pizzetta's Pizzeria is slated to build a new stand-along location in Brunswick Forest. (Photo by Cece Nunn)
Pizzetta's Pizzeria will grow on its success in Brunswick Forest with a stand-alone building, one of many commercial developments slated to come to Leland.

The recent land purchase for the new restaurant location was one of several commercial updates in an Oct. 27 message to residents from Brunswick Forest developer Jeff Earp of Funston Land & Timber.

The Villages at Brunswick Forest is a 160-acre town center made up of more than 500,000 square feet of retail, dining, medical and professional establishments. Now even more commercial space is set to come to the Brunswick Forest development, according to Earp's update.

New developments include the new Pizzetta's building, which will be built with more space and more seating for the growing Leland restaurant.

"They have been operating there since probably the inception of Brunswick Forest or shortly thereafter, and it's always crowded. They have been busting at the seams. And it was just a matter of time when they were going to build their own free-standing building, which is what they are going to be building next year," said Gary Vidmar, the town of Leland's community and economic development director. 

"They made the right decision to lease a smaller space initially and build up the reputation and the clientele, and they've done that. Now they've taken the next step, the next logical step, so that's a great success story there," Vidmar said.

Wendy’s fast-food chain has purchased property and plans to break ground in the coming months, and Wrightsville Beach Brewery remains steady on its plans to bring a craft brewery and restaurant to the area, stated the update.

The project could involve outside dining and a beer garden that can accommodate outdoor events.

"We are continuing to look for more casual dining places with a diverse menu, and another breakfast place. We would also like a white tablecloth-type dining establishment but not much interest has been shown," the update stated.

On top of the eateries coming in, there are also plans for Liberty HomeCare & Hospice Services to bring in new development. Work started on the project in February, but that slowed due to COVID, according to the update. Work is slated to pick up again in January, along with a cottage development that will tie in with the independent living apartments.

Liberty Healthcare is planning to expand its planned senior living community by adding 16 single-family cottages, Vidmar said in an email.

The first phase of the development is under construction and will consist of an independent living apartment building. Later phases will add an assisted living apartment building, a skilled nursing care facility and the cottages, he said.

"It's going to be independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care, eventually, but they have added a component for single-family rental cottages," Vidmar said. "That's something I don't think they have done in this market, that they see a need and demand for. So they are expending their project, which is a good thing."

Developers are also working on a contract to bring in a 24-hour convenience store at the corner of Lanvale and U.S. 17, with sights set on starting construction in 2021.

There is also interest in another two-story medical building, directly in front of the current EmergeOrtho building. The builder could construct something similar to the current EmergeOrtho facility, according to the update.

A parcel of land has also been sold to a curling club, which will be a private endeavor located next to the House of Pickleball in Brunswick Forest.

And south of the curling club's land, the developer has donated more than 30 areas of land to the town of Leland for recreational use.

"This uptick in commercial activity is a result of the tremendous residential growth that has occurred in Brunswick Forest during the past 10 years and the residential growth that has been taking place throughout all of Leland during the same period," Vidmar said. "In addition, Leland businesses are beginning to get customers from other cities nearby such as Wilmington who find the traffic conditions in Leland to be far more tolerable than across the river.”

The developer is also working on a long-term plan to sell the remaining land of the Brunswick Forest parcel on the residential real estate side.
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