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What was the land used for before it became The Arbors at Westgate in Leland?

Ana Ribeiro

The Arbors at Westgate was once a rental community called Ocean Gate and had five or six mobile homes, says Candice Alexander, a development coordinator with Ocean Gate, LLC. But developers soon discovered there was much more demand in that area for single-family homes than for trailers, as the Leland area began to change rapidly in the early part of this decade.

Ocean Gate, LLC sold the property to the Harrelson Group, which then turned it into The Arbors, Alexander said. The plan for this community of single-family homes off U.S. 17 came to Leland in February 2003, said town planner Robert Waring.

Ocean Gate’s developer still owns about 170 acres in the Westgate area, broken up into seven portions zoned for residential uses, according to Alexander.

Penton Development purchased some acres from the developer to build town houses in a community named Shoreline at Westgate, she said. Around this area, Leland plans to build a nature park with trails on land donated by Ocean Gate.

Development has slowed down quite a bit in Leland and elsewhere in the county, but the town grew at unprecedented speed earlier this decade. Sewer service had replaced septic tanks, which led to bigger developments, which led to more businesses moving in. Wal-Mart came along in 2007, also as part of the town’s Westgate development. Other shops opened in that mixed development.

The number of mobile home parks shrank in the town, whose population is estimated at more than 10,000, Brunswick County’s most populous.

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