Developers Share Vision on Front Street

WILMINGTON -- Using home-made models of trees and lightposts, developers showed downtown Wilmington business owners a vision of what North Front Street could become.

"A combination of shops and entertainment venues for 20s and young 30s" was what consultant Michael J. Berne had in mind.  With plans for a two-way Front Street underway, and thoughts of how to make a developing downtown even more appealing to tourists and local residents, developers were proposing more retail space, strolling-friendly sidewalks, and outdoor eateries.

Developers said that's what North Front Street was made for.

"It's the historic shopping street," said Berne.

Many business owners agreed that more free concerts and retail space would only add to the charm that downtown Wilmington already has.

Rich Anderson, manager at Fat Tony's Pub, welcomed the vision.  He said bring on the business, and keep the customers coming.

"More retailers are definitely a good thing," said Anderson, "as well as shops staying open later."

The Front Street makeover is a project that will take plenty of time and money to put in place.  But as all things worth waiting for, time will tell whether the changes will help revitalize downtown Wilmington.

Reported by Nicole Ferguson