January 17, 2006


One of the things that I like the most about Oak Island is that despite the fact that vacation houses line both sides of the beach road for almost the entire ten-mile length of the island, it never really feels crowded. Sure, you'll see people up and down the beach, all day, every day, but it's never remotely as crowded as someplace like Myrtle Beach. I think a lot of that is due to almost all the accomodations being single-family homes rather than condos (there are a few condo complexes on the beach road now, but only one of them has more than a dozen or so units).

Unfortunately, that may be about to change. While we were there last year, we saw another 100-unit condo complex being built one street back from the beach road; we also heard credible rumors that Long Beach Pier, one of the three fishing piers on the island, was going to be sold in a divorce settlement. The financial combination of the (alleged) $9 million asking price and the (known) meager profitability of the pier more or less dictated that it would end up being sold to a developer, razed, and turned into new rental houses or condos.

Alas, that is exactly what has happened:

Fifty years to the week after an application was filed to build Long Beach Pier, the Oak Island landmark stands ready to be demolished.

The property is being sold and the pier will officially close January 6. A New Year’s Eve bonfire will be the center of attention at the last pier event.

Not to worry - they're going to build single family homes on the site. Probably.

The business sits on nine oceanfront lots and, at this point, there are eight residences planned, [real estate agent Libba] Motsinger said. One of the lots doesn’t perk, so three lots may be used to build two homes on part of the property, she explained.

But there will be only upscale single-family homes on the beachfront in the 2700 block of West Beach Drive.

“There will be no condos on this property,” Motsinger promised.
You can promise whatever the hell you want, Libba, but you're not the buyer, are you? What's to stop the buyer from saying "Eight houses? No, no, no, you misunderstood - I said eighty condo units. Sorry about that."

Maybe I'm overreacting, and I guess we won't know for sure until we get there in June, but I'm sorry to think this may be the last year we go to Oak Island.


Posted by Chris at January 17, 2006 08:20 PM

Category: Random Vacation Thoughts