Shell Island Development
The Shell Island Development on the north end of Wrightsville Beach is noted for having a unique
layout. Not only are the lots generously sized at approximately 1/2 acre each, but there are restrictive
covenants with specific setbacks which provide protected ocean views for all lots – even those 5 rows
from the ocean. This visionary development approach combined the desire of the owners for a low-
density beach neighborhood with the unusual availability of a sizable oceanfront tract before the value
of such property had skyrocketed. Given the value of the property today, we are unlikely to see such
developments in the future.
The lots are typically 200’ wide x 100’ deep. While they are platted in a grid-type layout, covenants specify a “buildable” area measuring 70’ x 70’ within each lot. This buildable area on the
oceanfront is located 25’ from the side property line. The second row lot buildable area starts 45’ from
the side property line, resulting in a 20’ offset and thus providing a protected viewing corridor. This “v-
shaped” formation continues to the 5th row lots.
The 4 streets within the neighborhood are private, with no public parking or beach access. There are
only 9 public parking spaces on North Lumina Ave in each block, which tends to limit the number of
people on this section of the beach.
The development first opened in 1967 and a first wave of fairly modest beach homes was built at that
time. More recently, this first generation of houses has begun giving way to “re-builds” which take
advantage of the unique and spacious layout. We believe this trend will continue, and underscore Shell
Island as one of the most desirable enclaves on the coast.