Three new Sugar Planet/Sugar Kingdom stores slated to open on OBX

By on January 6, 2024

Site of the new Sugar Planet going up in Kitty Hawk.  (Google Maps)

Three new and large candy store outlets are coming soon to the Outer Banks. They include two Sugar Planet locations in Kitty Hawk and Corolla, and one Sugar Kingdom store in Avon. There are already two Sugar Planets in operation, one in Kill Devil Hills and one in Nags Head.

Sugar Planet Regional Manager Naor Hilel confirmed with the Voice that the two new Sugar Planet locations are set to open by May or June of 2024. The construction of the Kitty Hawk store—at 5201 N Croatan Highway across U.S.158 from the former Sentara Medical Center—is nearing completion and “will be ready for summer,” according to Hilel.

The building permit for that project was issued in August 2022, and according to Rob Testerman, Director of Planning and Inspections for the Town of Kitty Hawk, there has been no further communication between the town and the company since then.

They are still working under the original building permit and site plan approvals. We have not heard from them regarding an anticipated completion date,” said Testerman in an email to the Voice.

According to Hilel, the 510 Hunt Club Dr. Sugar Planet location in Corolla, which includes a two-story, 7,700 sq. ft. commercial building on a 1.9-acre parcel at the entrance of The Currituck Club, is nearing completion of its renovation phase.

“Now, we are going to work on new painting for the building and getting new signs up. It’s gonna look nice,” he said.

According to Currituck County Public Information Officer Randall Edwards, the county still has some oversight responsibilities. The Sugar Planet site has “a county permit for renovations and passed a rough inspection on Dec. 29, 2023. The site will need to pass additional inspections as the project is completed,” he said.

Sugar Kingdom, which is a different corporate entity than Sugar Planet, says on its website that it plans to open a new location at 40220 N. Carolina Hwy 12 in Avon, which is currently a Pirates Beachwear store. Despite repeated attempts, the Voice was unable to contact anyone affiliated with the Sugar Kingdom operation. And a Dare County spokesperson indicated that the county has no record of any ownership change at the Pirates Beachware location.

Sugar Planet’s two existing Dare County stores—at 6901 S. Croatan Hwy in Nags Head and 1600 S. Croatan Hwy in Kill Devil Hills—used to go by the name Sugar Kingdom. But they switched to the name to Sugar Planet in the past year. Attempts to discuss the relationship between Sugar Planet and Sugar Kingdom with Hilel were unsuccessful after he abruptly ended the phone call with the Voice. (He failed to respond to further efforts to contact him.) Another representative from Sugar Planet told the Voice that company is unaffiliated with the Sugar Kingdom company.

According to Dare County tax records, Sugar Planet is owned by S&S Properties in Virginia Beach, which shares a Virginia Beach address with Sunsations, LLC. Sugar Kingdom has existing stores in multiple states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Texas.

As reported in a January 2023 Voice story, the plan to open the Kitty Hawk and Corolla locations was met with community concern that the project is contributing to, in the words of one critic, the “Myrtle Beachification of the Outer Banks.”

Kitty Hawk’s Testerman has said that the new candy store is a permitted use and meets zoning requirements, leaving the town no choice but to approve it. “So, even knowing what it was, if we didn’t want it…we really would have no legal basis to deny it. A lot of the comments on social media were kind of acting like we had a choice in the matter, but it met the requirements, so we’re legally bound to approve,” Testerman told the Voice at the time.

In its current CAMA/Land Use Plan, Kitty Hawk had made a commitment to “develop a position paper outlining its desires for maintaining its established community theme as a low density, low rise residential beach community with Coast Guard station style architecture predominant…” It also vowed to study the creation of an architectural overlay district and an architectural review committee. As Testerman confirmed, the town did not follow through on those commitments.

Kitty Hawk released a new CAMA/Land Use plan in September of 2023, after releasing a survey and holding multiple town meetings. In the plan, the Town stated that one of the top concerns from staff, elected officials and community members was the “development scale and character” of Kitty Hawk and it outlined potential changes to the town ordinance to “reinforce Kitty Hawk’s unique low-key coastal identity and sense of community though high-quality design…”

When asked if these potential changes represent an attempt to avoid future commercial projects like the Sugar Planet, Testerman stated that “I would say it is more of an effort to retain the coastal town character the residents value with future commercial development.”

 



Comments

  • Halmac

    One also in Currituck besides Corolla. Multiple giant candy stores, all at once, in this day and age where sugar is excoriated? Hmmm?

    Monday, Jan 8 @ 11:00 am
  • Hal McCray

    If I was an investigative journalist- hint- I’d be all over this one- including the multiple Wings.

    Monday, Jan 8 @ 11:06 am
  • Bree

    I know tourist opinions carry little weight around here but as a tourist, I want to add that even we don’t want these stores. They are ugly and unnecessary. One is plenty and any more is excessive.

    Monday, Jan 8 @ 11:07 am
  • OBX Kite Flyer

    Looked up the Sugar Kingdom LLC. The local member is Yakov Cohen with the given address of 305 S. VIRGINIA DARE TRL, which is yet another Wings-like store (Pirate’s Beachwear) on the beach road.

Two other men (brothers?) from Hallandale FL (Miami area) are listed on the Sugar Kingdom LLC – one seems to be a personal injury attorney and the other one runs a company that supplies cheap printed stuff that you would find in Wings-like stores. There is an OBX Product on the homepage justspeed.com

    What’s interesting is that Naor Hilel (the Sugar Planet manager from the article) is associated with Sunsations and ALSO a company in Miami as well (Director, Vice President of Tel Computers & Networking Inc). It’s almost as if all these people may know each other?! Lul shell games

    Monday, Jan 8 @ 11:10 am
  • CorollaCat

    So we have “Dirty Dick’s” and “Try My Nuts”, and we’re mad about sugar? Who cares?!?!
    Everybody calm down.

    Monday, Jan 8 @ 11:16 am
  • NH Resident

    Sugar Kingdom/Planet and similar: open retail aggressively. Profit on high margin product to tourists. Hire minimum wage workers. Owners draw large distributions from profits. Owners see slow down in profits from lack of labor, complain that there is no affordable housing to maintain labor. Expect County to solve. County taxes property owners to solve business owner’s issue so said business owner can pull in more profit since labor force is now available via subsidized housing. Ceteris Paribus vs. Mutatis Mutandis…

    Monday, Jan 8 @ 11:31 am
  • Obx native

    Ive been to one of these. They have dollar tree candy for triple the price. 50 dollars for 3 small bags. Got the same candy at dollar tree for 10 bucks. The outer banks needs the opposite of these stores. We need more healthy places. Not sugar that will rot kids teeth out. Unhealthy. How about more spots for kids, teens to gather at so they dont turn to drugs like they have been for years. Everything has been taken away and replaved with bullcrap places like this. Disgrace. As a native here its so upsetting. To see such a beautiful place go to sh**. All about the money.

    Monday, Jan 8 @ 1:37 pm
  • Dawn

    Don’t you dare try to say this is inline w/ resident’s values. We don’t want or need another Sugar factory/store, any of it. Doesn’t anyone care about the town anymore? Sure doesn’t feel like it. How about getting us better medical facilities and doctors so they can take care of everyone after consuming all of this sugar?!

    Tuesday, Jan 9 @ 9:59 am
  • CorollaCat

    Ooooh! I got it. Put a bunch of crap household products and party favors in there; now it’s a Dollar store.

    And by the way; I love candy!!
    Y’all don’t eat candy? Bore

    Wednesday, Jan 10 @ 8:20 am
  • Jensen

    I have to admit…it is a brilliant business model to make money off of sugar addicted tourists and kids. Candy doesn’t go bad and humans love it. That being said, we definitely don’t need more stores like this one. I wish this place had a tad more class. I think that the folks approving these projects should visit some classier vacation destinations to get better ideas about the kinds of businesses to encourage and approve in the Obx. With better planning and more viable businesses, Obx could’ve been an awesome place, but it is just average and unmemorable. Why is there zero landscaping around most businesses and along the road here?? Most vacay destinations invest more in landscaping and aesthetics. I just don’t get this place. It starts at the top and trickles down. I think we need new people at the ‘top’.

    Wednesday, Jan 10 @ 12:21 pm
  • Steven

    OBX = OBnoXious

    Thursday, Jan 11 @ 3:18 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    C’mon Steven, come up with a new line.

    Thursday, Jan 11 @ 6:13 pm
  • Christa

    I love these stores. I’m pushing 40 and go every time I visit obx (usually about 3 times a year). Chill tf out people. These comments are absurd, as are the people writing them. Oh, and I still have all of my teeth.

    Saturday, Jan 13 @ 1:46 pm