City Council approves resolution to allow alcohol sales during downtown concert series, purchase of new downtown building

Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 7:13 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Wilmington City Council has unanimously approved a resolution allowing the sale of alcohol for an upcoming series of downtown concerts.

The non-profit Downtown Business Alliance requested authorization allowing the group to use Chestnut Street, between North 3rd and North 2nd Streets to serve alcohol during the upcoming Downtown Alive Concert Series. The DBA plans a 15-week series of free concerts in the 200 Block of Chestnut Street, running from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each Saturday, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.

Mayor Bill Saffo said when the announcement came in March that the Sundown Celebration Series would not return, locals and business owners looked for a way to replace it.

”It’s free concerts for people, which a lot of people like,” Saffo said. “Sometimes people can’t afford to go to some of the bigger concerts down at the amphitheater, or maybe something out at Greenfield Lake. We see it as a family oriented type of an event, and something that has been tremendously very successful for 18 years now.”

Mayor Pro-tem Margaret Haynes and DBA Board Member, says that this is a great economic opportunity for downtown businesses.

“I think this is an attempt on the part of the Downtown Business Alliance to bring back activity downtown,” she said. “It’s always been seen having concerts as an economic development engine.”

Current regulations ban the consumption of alcohol on city-owned property, so a resolution is needed to allow vendors to set up and serve beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages during the concert series.

New Building Downtown

Council members also approved moving forward with buying an office building downtown.

The city will spend $11.2 million to buy the five-story CresCom Bank building at Third and Chestnut Streets.

The current city office building at 305 Chestnut St. is running short on office space, and this deal will free up some space in that building as employees move to the new location.

“We were fortunate to find this building across the street, which gives us the added opportunity to be able to expand onto it if need be down the road,” Saffo said. “So I think it was a it was a good purchase by the City of Wilmington.”

Flooding Improvements

Another item approved unanimously by council, a $7.7 million contract to help alleviate flooding in a couple of areas.

The project will provide new culverts under College Acres Dr. and Mallard St. to prevent further erosion on these highly impacted flooding areas.

Among those improvements will include new sidewalks, pavement, and more landscaping to prevent flooding damage in the future.

Other Items

The council approved the renovation contract for the Wilmington Multi-Modal Transportation Center Phase 1B.

The multi-use path plans for 17th Street near Shipyard Blvd were also approved.

For more information on the resolutions, click here.

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