Construction underway on new Walt Bellamy Drive housing project

Construction has started on a new housing development located at the corner of Walt Bellamy Drive and Jones Street in New Bern.

Construction is underway on a new housing development that will be located on joined lots at the corner of Walt Bellamy Drive and Jones Street. 

The New Bern Redevelopment Commission’s Walt Bellamy Drive Project calls for the construction of three new, single-family homes on the property for sale to “low-to-moderate-income” families. The homes will feature two bedrooms, one bathroom and a covered front porch with either a concrete or covered patio in back.

According to Redevelopment Commission Executive Director Zeb Hough, all three slabs have been poured and plumbing is ready to be installed. The city has already installed water and sewer taps at each site.

Hough said the framing on the homes is expected to be completed by the end of January. 

According to RDC Chair Beth Walker, the vinyl, roofing, flooring, cabinets and interior paint have also been reviewed and selected for the homes.

At their Oct. 11 meeting, the RDC approved three bids totaling $425,000 from IMEC Group of Goldsboro to build the homes, which will measure 800 square feet, 896 square feet, and 792 square feet. 

Clearing of the property began early last month and the city held an official groundbreaking for the new development on Nov. 10. 

According to George Ward, project manager with IMEC Group, construction should take around 90 days, with a scheduled February completion date.

On Dec., 18 workers appeared to have the framing work for one of the homes nearly completed.

The lots for the homes were purchased by the RDC in 2021 for $38,000. Local business owner Pete Frey placed an initial bid of $15,000 on the two lots in November 2022. When that offer was rejected, he returned with a new bid of $14,415 and sought permission to build both a single-family home as his residence and a second home to be used as a residential tenant property. That offer was also ultimately rejected by the RDC.

Though the commission initially developed plans to build rental units on the property, they were derailed after Assistant City Attorney Jaimee Bullock-Mosley revealed in March that the RDC is only allowed to lease property on a temporary basis.

Instead, the RDC requested $547,000 of American Rescue Plan funds from the city to develop three small, two-bedroom homes on the Walt Bellamy Drive/Jones Street property. The New Bern Board of Aldermen unanimously approved the money for the project.

In June the RDC directed the Board of Aldermen to take over the initial bidding process for the planned housing development.

It remains unclear how much the homes will be sold for or what kind of income or other requirements will be necessary for families wishing to purchase them. 

According to the Craven GIS map, the two lots combined total 0.36 acres. If the property is subdivided into three equal lots for the planned homes, the acreage for each would be approximately 0.12 acres.  

By Todd Wetherington, co-editor. Send an email with questions or comments.

Related article: New Bern Redevelopment Commission breaks ground on housing development planned for Walt Bellamy Drive