Building and Strengthening Our Local Community by Ea Ruth

Members of Cape Fear REALTORS® and the Wilmington REALTORS® Foundation are constantly looking for new ways to build and strengthen our local community. An exciting example of this focus on building our community is a project we have been working on for a long time: a new townhouse community soon to be built on Carolina Beach Road.

Located on a strip of approximately six acres of land, Pierson Point will consist of 48 single-family terraced homes. Designed to fill what many perceive as an affordable housing gap, the community is for residents with an area median income between 81% and 120%, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Development. urban.

The rezoning to make the project possible was unanimously approved by the New Hanover County commissioners. The non-profit Wilmington REALTORS® Foundation (WRF) had owned the land since at least 2018 when agent Sherri Pickard purchased and transferred it, property records show.

For many of us who work in real estate, it’s no surprise that the community is named after John Pierson, who died in April 2021. Founding the WRF and serving as its president for 20 years is no surprise. is just a small example of the work John has done to support the community.

A veteran who served his country as a US Marine for six years, touring Vietnam culminating in the rank of captain, John’s name is synonymous with integrity, respect and community service. It is partly for this reason that the WRF created the John Pierson Humanitarian Award, naming it its first recipient. Active in real estate for over 50 years, he has also donated his time to Meals on Wheels, numerous other non-profit organizations and the REALTORS® Board of Directors.

I like to think John would be proud of the community that bears his name. Before I get too off topic, I want to point out that all new townhouses will include a variety of covenants. These covenants primarily limit townhouses to owner occupiers and ensure that they cannot be converted into vacation rentals or other forms of rental property, as this would obviously defeat the purpose of providing more affordable housing opportunities here in Wilmington.

The rezoning was necessary to allow for greater density on the narrow plot. Under previous zoning, 2.5 units would have been allowed per acre, making a total of 15 single-family homes for this particular site. The potential new project has eight units per acre, which is a relatively low number compared to the surrounding area and many other major metropolitan areas.

The area had been zoned for low-density residential development (R-15) since the early 1970s, when water and sewer were less accessible in the area. It has now become more common to see commercial or multi-family developments appear along the corridor.
The Wilmington REALTORS® Foundation was established over 25 years ago with a simple mission to help other local nonprofit organizations. One of the most visible aspects of the organization is the REALTORS® Helping REALTORS® Fund. Established in 1999, it was created specifically to help Realtors® with catastrophic illness.

Some of the other ways we work to build and strengthen the local community include promoting a vibrant economy, which in many ways starts with home ownership, and working to ensure a high quality of life, at a reasonable cost. We believe the key to achieving the latter goal is to encourage broad-based taxation to support education and infrastructure (roads, water, sewers, etc.), which enable quality residential, commercial and industrial growth. in an environmentally friendly way.

It is also important to note that we adhere to community values. As REALTORS®, we are committed to serving the community as leaders in government and service organizations and through service projects such as REALTOR® Action Day, a special designated day of community service that sees generally a high participation rate among our members.

For more information, please visit CapeFear.REALTOR or call 910-762-7400.


Ea Ruth is the 2022 President of Cape Fear REALTORS®, an organization with nearly 3,500 members and the voice of real estate in the region. Cape Fear REALTORS®, through advocacy, education and community engagement, supports efforts to protect homeowners’ rights, promote housing availability and provide resources to ensure that every individual has the right to share the “American dream”. For more information on this topic and the association, please visit or contact Cape Fear REALTORS® at 910-762-7400.