Having sold spirits since 1963, the Pender County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is ready to start a new chapter after outgrowing its space.
At a meeting in September, the Burlaw Board of Commissioners approved a permit for a planned building group with the retail liquor store, warehouse and office. The 15,300 square foot space will be located east of US 117 across from East Fremont Street, with more than 30 parking spaces.
The request was made by Drew Wilgus, project architect and designer at Smith Sinnett Architecture, on behalf of Pender’s ABC council. Wilgus said it would be twice or larger than the current Burlaw facility.
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“I think it will be a lot more welcoming than their current setup,” he said. “The idea was to attract passers-by and bring customers from the street.”
The local board reports to the state’s ABC Commission, an agency hosted by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. It provides uniform control over the sale, purchase, transportation, manufacture, consumption, and possession of all alcoholic beverages in the state. North Carolina is one of 17 controlling states and jurisdictions.
City officials said the project known as the ABC Pender County Retail and Distribution Center, the new location is an area where commercial growth is desirable as part of land use plans. lands. This includes commercial spaces such as retail outlets, auto sales, hotels, and malls.
According to site data documents submitted to Pender County, the developer of the land is Bordeaux Construction Company of Raleigh. The land was previously owned by Eva Jones.
Currently, the ABC County Board is located at 207 U.S. Highway 117 Bypass, less than a mile from the new site. Since the 1960s, it has served clients in Burlaw and surrounding communities. Warehouse items were sent to ABC stores to the former site of Atkinson, Rocky Point, Hampstead and Surf City.
He described the existing space as an unremarkable place with windows in the front and a desk near the entrance.
“It’s just a room with wooden shelves,” he said, comparing the old building and the plans for the new one. “This one will be very open inside. There will be lots of windows and natural light, and it will be a more pleasant space to live in.”
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The Pender ABC board is now looking to expand.
“If the proposed site is developed according to the proposed plans, the Pender County ABC System can increase its distribution of liquor products to its retail stores, resulting in increased profits and sales that can be donated to the City of Burgaw through sales tax and net profit distributions, as distributed based on a distribution formula previously adopted by the North Carolina General Assembly,” city officials said in the staff report.
According to an annual report, with data from fiscal year 2021, Pender achieved total gross sales of over $10.63 million, an increase of over $2 million from fiscal year 2020. The forecast for 2022 is $10.33 million.
For the 2021 total, the state collected $2.44 million in taxes, while more than $969,000 returned locally to Pender. The revenues are distributed for different purposes in the county. According to Pender’s ABC website, about 5% to 15% of gross profits go to law enforcement, while another 2% to 5% goes to alcohol education. Mosquito control accounts for 5% of gross profits.
For the net profits, 65% goes to the general county fund and 35% of the money is sent to the municipalities where the stores are located based on sales.
Wilgus said construction is expected to begin in 2023 after additional permitting stages are complete. It will take about a year or two to complete.
Journalist Chase Jordan can be reached at [email protected]