WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - "This is just the beginning……”
Downtown Wilmington options are exploding like never before. The current projects under construction are going to add thousands to the 28401 zip code.
“Bars, restaurants, the arts, it all fits our lifestyle," said Elena Wright who is pooling resources together with her boyfriend to buy a new townhouse off of North Sixth Street. “We’re happy to be on this side of town where it’s continually evolving.”
Evolving is an understatement. Wright’s town home is in the Indie-Ice Development. It borders the Rail Trail Project, and Wilmington City Council is looking at that potential. An ordinance would appropriate $50,000 that was donated toward master planning services, to plan the new space on the northern side of town.
“It can be seen as a potential gateway," said Ed Wolverton with Downtown Wilmington Inc.
The project would convert the old, abandoned Atlantic Coast Line Railroad line in downtown into a pedestrian and bike trail.
The area is one block north of what Downtown Wilmington Inc, considers it’s core, which is bridge to bridge; Water Street, up to 5th Avenue.
“It’s been incredible. It didn’t take more than two months, on the open market, to get them all sold," said Real Estate Agent Drew Pittman who sold Wright her condo. “We’re surprised it’s happened so quickly.”
Flats on Front, Phase Two of City Block Apartments, River Place, Pier 33 Apartments, and this list continues to grow. You can add a proposal, now, by East West Partners, working to develop a gateway corridor off North Third Street, coming off the Isabel Holmes Bridge. It’s a $90 million multi-use proposal that’s includes even more residential units.
“There’s an old saying that retail follows rooftops,” Wolverton said. “And in the next few months, we’re seeing enough units to bring 3,000 more residents to downtown. That’s double the current population and a great lure to bring more retail into downtown."
“We’re attracting out-of-towners, empty nesters — it’s not one demographic," explained Jeff Hovis with Intracoastal Realty Corporation. He’s helping market high-end town homes on Bladen Street with an asking price of $799,000. “Looking out, from this rooftop, all you can see is potential. We’ve already sold two. Downtown living has a certain appeal that’s growing every day.”
Justin Stone is looking forward to his new chapter. He’s expected to move downtown after the first of the year.
“I imagine this neighborhood, continuing to grow. I’m just happy to be a part of the younger generation moving downtown in to Wilmington, showing people have far this town has really grown," Stone said.