Real Estate - Commercial

In Midtown Wilmington, 21 Acres Could Be Rezoned To Broader Business Category

By Cece Nunn, posted Apr 10, 2023
An aerial illustration shows land, outlined in red, off Independence Boulevard and next to The Pointe at Barclay in midtown Wilmington that could be rezoned. (Courtesy of Cameron Management Inc.)

A little over 21 acres of Cameron land adjacent to The Pointe at Barclay in midtown Wilmington is the subject of a rezoning request that reflects changing market conditions, according to the property’s owners.

The acres, owned by Cameron Properties Land Co. LLC, received an office and institutional conditional district, O&I (CD), zoning 10 years ago, but these days, the property owners feel a new zoning classification, regional business (RB), reflects expectations for the future. The currently vacant land is located at and around 3743 Independence Blvd.

“The whole office market is dramatically different than it was when this was zoned in 2013, especially over the course of the past few years,” said Hill Rogers, broker in charge of Wilmington-based Cameron Management Inc. “Regional business is a more all-encompassing zoning type.”

An application submitted by Rogers to the city of Wilmington for the zoning change reflects this view, noting advances in technology.

“These technological innovations have greatly increased visual and virtual communication, allowing for more office workers to work remotely from home. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was a growing and impactful trend, and was widely adopted, for example, by Clinical Research Organizations (CROs), which have a strong employment influence in the Wilmington region. Many CRO firms in Wilmington were transitioning to a hybrid work-from-home model starting as far back as 2015, and the remote-work model shifted into overdrive with the COVID-19 pandemic,” the application states. “Today's communication and broadband technology allows for efficient means of office working and has enabled corporations to shed unnecessary overhead and unused office space, thereby increasing profitability without the need for more office space.”

The RB zoning would allow for “a wider array of commercial uses than the current O&I zone. As The Pointe at Barclay [a commercial center with services and restaurants anchored by The Pointe 14 Stone Theatres movie theater] reaches full buildout, more RB-zoned land will be needed to provide support services to the surrounding residential and office areas,” according to the application.

While RB would allow for retail and service uses, the application noted, the city’s Land Development Code “would require pedestrian movement and the existing approved road network for this section of Barclay West ensures that traffic functions very well and efficiently in this vicinity.”

The application could be considered by the Wilmington Planning Commission in May, according to the city’s website.

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