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Wells Brothers Takes Over Avalon

By Julian March StarNews Staff

Published: Monday, May 2, 2016 at 7:58 p.m.

Last Modified: Monday, May 2, 2016 at 7:58 p.m.

BRUNSWICK COUNTY — A long-stalled residential development between N.C. 211 and Old Lennon Road is being revived since progress waned around the time of the economic downturn.

On Monday, the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to award a $1.36 million contract to build curbed streets, add water and sewer mains and make other infrastructure improvements in the northern section of the Avalon subdivision. In order to keep the project to budget, the work will not include sidewalks.

The $1.36 million does not come from tax dollars but from bonds reserved for the infrastructure improvements, said County Manager Ann Hardy.

To gain approval to sell lots, developers provide a financial guarantee they will complete the water, sewer and roads. That could be provided in cash, a letter of credit from a bank, or with a bond from a company that acts as an insurance policy.

After Avalon's original developer abandoned the project, the county ultimately stepped in to ensure the infrastructure would be completed.

The $1.36 million contract with Wells Bros. Construction Co. Inc. covers infrastructure serving 88 platted lots on the northern end of the subdivision, said William Pinnix, the county's engineering director.

Pinnix said the project should be complete by early 2017.

“I think it has a lot of potential,” he said of the vacant neighborhood. “The pond in the middle is beautiful.”

In 2005, the subdivision was approved for 344 single-family lots, 96 multi-family units and 9 acres of commercial, though nothing has ever happened with the multi-family or commercial, said Marc Pages, a county land planner.

Avalon's infrastructure bonds were the subject of past legal wrangling involving the county and an insurance company.

Reporter Julian March can be reached at 910-343-2099

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