Proposed Embassy Suites; “Anchoring the North End of the Carolina Beach Boardwalk”

Last week Harmony Hospitality hosted a community meeting for the conditional rezoning request of the current SeaWitch property between Pelican Lane, Canal Drive and Carolina Beach Avenue North.. The proposed Embassy Suites Carolina Beach would bring a 177-room hotel with an oceanfront ballroom (potentially the largest on the NC Coast), a “one-of-a-kind rooftop restaurant and bar,” a Poolside Bar, and a signature oceanfront restaurant on the 2nd floor that will utilize only 240 parking spots. 

 The crowd listened to potential amenities that included the “addition of pedestrian sidewalks and enhanced streetscapes with native trees and plants, bike racks,” and an “Abundance of onsite parking for restaurant and rooftop bar.” They also want to trade land with the Town of Carolina Beach providing the town with “oceanfront land to be utilized at town discretion.” 

Organizers took questions from the crowd where many were concerned about the proposed height limit changes to 100’, impacts to the town’s infrastructure, traffic, and the lack of parking space that is to accommodate 177 rooms, 3 restaurants a ballroom, and staff. 

A petition proposing the height quickly popped up on and as of press time had gained 383 signatures sharing, “As concerned citizens of Carolina Beach, we cherish our historic beach town and its unique character. Our community is under threat by Harmony Hospitality’s plans to build a hotel 40 feet over the existing height restriction of 50 feet. This proposed development not only violates our local regulations but also threatens to disrupt the aesthetic harmony and historical integrity of our beloved town.

The current height restrictions were put in place with good reason – to preserve the charm and character that make Carolina Beach special. Allowing this exception could set a dangerous precedent, potentially inviting more oversized developments that would further erode our town’s unique identity.

According to data from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, communities that preserve their unique historic character have higher property values, more local businesses, and better quality of life (National Trust for Historic Preservation). We believe that upholding these restrictions is not just about maintaining aesthetics; it’s about preserving the economic vitality and cultural heritage of Carolina Beach.

We urge the Carolina Beach Town Council to enforce these height restrictions consistently and deny Harmony Hospitality’s request for an exception. By doing so, they can protect our town’s history while ensuring its future growth aligns with community values. Please sign this petition if you agree that preserving Carolina Beach’s historical integrity should be prioritized over accommodating oversized developments.”

The project has not gone before the town’s technical review committee yet but will possibly be on the Planning and Zoning’s agenda at the April 11th meeting.