EMERALD ISLE — After several years of planning and more than a year of construction, most of the townhouses and all of the retails store spaces in the Village West mixed-use development off Islander Drive in Emerald Isle are ready for occupancy.
“We’ve got certificates of occupancy for the shops and all but two of the townhouse buildings” (in phase one of the project), Samer Hamad, of Hamad Realty in Morehead City and a principal in development company A-Team Enterprises, said Monday.
All of the 11 buildings are three stories, with businesses on the ground floor and residential units on the top two.
Some of the retail operations are having trouble hiring employees, Mr. Hamad added, and at least one, No Name Pizza and Subs, has indicated it might not open this summer.
“We’re making progress, and it’s great to see some of the stores opening,” Mr. Hamad said. “But it’s been very difficult to get things done this summer.”
Two of the shops – Style The Day Boutique and Enchanted Interiors – are set to open this week, and others, including Milk Road Coffee & Smoothies and Mid Channel Market, a general store, are planning to open sometime in September, Mr. Hamad said. EJW Outdoors of Morehead City, which sells beach and fishing equipment and bicycles, also hopes to open soon, he added.
People should start moving into some residential units in the near future, he continued.
There are seven businesses in phase one, with four of them occupying two of the ground-floor units.
The town invested in utility and other public improvements along Islander Drive in an attempt to spur redevelopment in the area now occupied by the Village West development after years of general disrepair.
The Village West site is a 2.3-acre tract A-Team Enterprises of Morehead City bought from the town. The property is north and east of Queens Court condominiums and north of the town’s Western Ocean Regional Access.
The town originally bought the property with the intent of building an events center but backed off after public objections. Emerald Isle then sold the property to A-Team at auction, making a profit, which it reinvested into Islander Drive and Louise Avenue improvements, such as sidewalks and public parking spaces, landscaping, burial of utility lines and a change in traffic patterns.
Emerald Isle used $100,000 in state economic development grant fund to help pay for the Islander Drive corridor renovations, which, combined with contributions from A-Team, totaled about $750,000.
Hamad Realty managed the sale or lease of all the commercial units in Village West, while Bluewater Real Estate of Emerald Isle is handling sales of the condominiums and townhomes for the entire project.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.