WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Starway Flea Market is a popular weekend spot for many, hosting visitors for more than 20 years now.
On Wednesday night, Wilmington’s Planning Commission unanimously voted to approve the general rezoning request for the 15 acre lot that is now Starway Flea Market. The request was to rezone from commercial use to residential use, possibly making way for affordable housing.
The developer, Kelley Development Company, based out of Raleigh hopes to build about 300 units, but other plans for this land are still up in the air.
“I really think it’s important here in this project to think about the income levels associated with our tenant base. we’re talking about those who work in emergency services, people who fill important roles in retail and hospitality industries,” said Ted Heilbron of Kelley Development Company.
About a dozen people attended the meeting, split for and against the idea.
One vendor at the flea market knows how important it is to their customers: “If there’s not 1,000 people who go through the gate on every Sunday, that are trying to get goods that they might not be able to afford full price, they might be looking for a deal, there’s a lot of different people that go out to the flea market,” said Patrick Barnes.
Those in favor, advocating for affordable housing.
“I’m an advocate for affordable housing because the lack of it in our community is the number one reason that we need families, veterans, seniors, and others that have lost their housing and need our safety net,” said Katrina Knight.
Other concerns were brought up about traffic.
“Generally speaking, any project that goes forward, in particular, one of 300 units, would have to go through a traffic impact analysis,” said Cindee Wolf of Design Solutions. “All of the access points that are available to it would be reviewed.”
This will now go to city council, where a final decision will be made.
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