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It’s Time to Develop Riverfront East!

Updated December 10, 2021
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Wilmington is expanding! Since plans to develop Riverfront East along the Christina River were unveiled this past May, we’ve been dreaming of the exciting opportunities for our city and state!

The $100 million project will combine the current Riverfront with development on the other side of the Christina River for a total of 86 acres. Riverfront East will result in 1.9 million sq. ft. of office space, and 4.7 million sq. ft. of residential space. This creates unlimited opportunities for our city’s residents and businesses.

Construction broke ground in October of this year on The Salvation Army campus, which is expected to be finished in summer 2022. Roadways and other infrastructure projects will then begin.

All of this had us thinking, “What will that community look like? What will it’s residents and employees need, and what will be fun for Wilmington to have?”

So we took it to the polls and asked local community leaders, business owners, and Wilmingtonians what THEIR hopes are for the community. View some of the responses below!

From Our Community Leaders:

Joe Valenti, Riverfront Development Corporation

Rendering of the new Riverfront East community

“Our development to the east side of the Christina River is the natural progression of the vision of the Riverfront Development Corporation. Similarly to what we did on the west side of the river, we will be remediating land that is currently abandoned or unused, and transforming it into vibrant residences, businesses, attractions, and green spaces. The development will benefit the community greatly by providing employment opportunities, creating a safe and desirable destination where there once was none, and offering solutions for roadway and water management impacting the entire area.”

Logan Herring, CEO of The WRK Group

I believe the Riverfront East announcement sets a precedent of what is needed in order to build and revitalize communities – significant and consistent investment. The Riverfront has been a tremendous asset to our city, and stakeholders are now doubling down. We want to learn all we can from this approach and apply these strategies to our efforts in Riverside.

I just returned from Atlanta, GA and spent some time in a community called Atlantic Station. This quaint, newly-constructed neighborhood had numerous retail options, banking choices, grocery store, entertainment, green space, childcare and neighborhood schools, and a diverse population that felt safe to walk and co-exist. This is what families desire now – safe, walkable neighborhoods.

From Our Community:

Otis Scrivens:

“The east side of the Riverfront should have more adult entertainment (ex. Casino, High end shopping, Live Entertainment). Recreational activities like paddle boating and yes, one more sports venue for minor league Hockey. Also, a Dave and Buster’s for families and there should be one major Arts installation or Water display that is unique to Wilmington.”

Dan:

“We need to continue to drive young folks with money to the Riverfront and those will all help. I’m the youngest owner in the Christina landing townhouses (in my 20s) and some of the things listed would bring a lot of young folks from NY, Philly, DC, and inspire out of state UD students to stay local. Some examples: a Luxury gym (Lifetime Fitness, Equinox, or similar), rooftop bar, great brunch spot with river views, marina, parks/green space, amphitheater, jet ski/boat rental, great safe bars with live music, etc.”

Jayson Dewey, esq.

“As someone who lived at Harlan Flats (on the other side), this area needs a pharmacy/market/grocery store that is open early and late hours, that is within walking distance to residential buildings. A lot more people are working from home now permanently, having a cafe or work space area(s) that are open early mornings and late at night are necessary in this new covid/post-covid world (sometimes people want to get out of their apartment!). A dog park would be great for all the pet owners in the area. Hopefully local businesses will be given preference over national chains (bagel shop, pizzeria, deli, etc). Parks/green spaces-tall trees, shady coverage; grand central piazza with fountains, and public art/sculptures. Plenty of room for cafes, outdoor festivals. A rooftop bar/restaurant overlooking the river and riverwalk.”

Additional short answers from our city provide a running list of businesses and amenities YOU’D like to see:

  • Black owned businesses
  • Coffee shops
  • More access in and out of the Riverfront
  • Murals from local artists
  • Art galleries
  • Grocery store
  • Spa
  • Live Music Pavilion
  • Aquarium
  • Top Golf
  • Rooftop Bars & brunch spots
  • Roller Skating Rink
  • Dog parks
  • Boutique style shops

We want to hear from you!

What amenities do you think should be in the new Riverfront East community? Comment below! Let us know (and follow us!) on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok! Click here to see our other blogs.

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