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SUNSET BEACH—West Virginia residents Alan and Michele Brinsfield say they love their new townhouse that’s within walking distance of Ingram Planetarium.
In fact, it’s just a short walk down High Market Street.
Their newly purchased two-story second home is one of dozens that have been built so far in Dock Street Townhomes at Seaside Village, a new community unfolding around the planetarium in Sunset Beach.
For now, the new three-bedroom unit is serving as their second home, but eventually, they said they’d love to settle here permanently.
“We’d like to live here for the summer,” Michele Brinsfield said after she, her husband, and their children unloaded the family SUV last Friday for a long holiday weekend.
“We actually adore the idea of a community where you can walk,” she said. “We’ve already been to the planetarium. We can walk or bike. Once you’ve been in the car for 10 hours, it’s nice to walk.”
While real estate sales and construction have slowed everywhere, the neighborhood and Ashton Homes’ Sunset Beach Village Park Condominiums next to it are examples of new construction that continue to go up in Sunset Beach.
“Lots of people always want to come to the beach,” said Lew Hankes with Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty, one of several businesses now housed in the development’s live-work section of three-story townhomes on Queen Anne street, which runs perpendicular to the residential units on High Market Street.
Fellow broker/Realtor Fred Thorne of Fred Thorne Realty and Commercial Interior Resources, situated in an adjacent office, said while things have slowed, he knows other people from other areas are poised to move here, too.
“Once they can sell their places, they’re ready to come,” he said.
In addition to the real estate offices, other assorted enterprises have located in the complex, including the Shop Girl apparel shop, a massage and reflexology studio, and chiropractor Brian Lank with his Carolina Performance Golf, a medical golf fitness studio on the ground floor of his own live-work townhome. Lank said he lives in the two levels of living space above the studio.
“It’s unique, the whole village setting,” Lank said of his new live-work arrangement. “You can walk to the shops. There’s nothing like it in Sunset Beach.”
“Definitely the unique factor,” he added, is what attracted him.
As new businesses gradually locate in the complex, Thorne said an Irish pub is also supposed to open soon there.
That, he said, would definitely be unique for Sunset Beach.
Elsewhere, construction is also under way on the new Cape Fear Bank building and professional office space across Pinewood Drive from Sunset Beach Town Hall
Sunset Beach chief building inspector Jeff Curtis describes the facility as a two-story building.
Original plans called for more live-work space, Curtis said, but developers later changed direction.
“That particular one is going to be all business,” he said of the future 20,000-square-foot facility fronting Sunset Boulevard.
“They still have plans to extend it, I guess just when the market dictates,” Curtis said. “They still want to do live-work mixed use.”