The New Wilmington

The New Wilmington
April 06 22:36 2016 Print This Article

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The Downtown Development District (DDD) proposed by the City of Wilmington will have a transformative effect on downtown Wilmington by strengthening downtown neighborhoods adjacent to Wilmington’s commercial core and developing vibrant linkages throughout the area (see Figure 1). By leveraging state resources, strategically deploying local incentives,

and coordinating the efforts of many organizational

partners, the Wilmington DDD will stimulate private investment and create a flourishing downtown area with equally attractive neighborhoods that are even more physically connected and represent a true live/ work/play destination. This will further position Wilm- ingots, the most prominent urban center in Delaware, as a hallmark metropolitan center.


This is downtown’s primary street, the City’s public face, and the most successful example of a mixed use environment where major cultural institutions and entertainment venues, schools, restaurants, shops and housing combine to form a dynamic model of city life. Momentum is greatest here but prominent vacant prop- erties require a push to complete the extensive revital- ization of Market Street from 9th Street to 2nd Street.


Located just west of Market Street, this area is in
a prime position to become a mixed-use arts-based neighborhood. There is the opportunity to build off the strength of Market Street and expand it west to Wash- ington Street. This effort will fill the gap in activity between the downtown core and the downtown neigh- borhoods west of Market Street with a mix of spaces for creative production, consumption and living.


These neighborhoods demonstrate the greatest need for stabilization and better integration into the downtown core. Vacancy and blight could be replaced through the development of housing and neighborhood-based, and neighborhood-serving businesses, thus strengthening east-west connections that are critical to turning these neighborhoods around. The success of downtown is closely linked to the health of these neighborhoods that not only shape the perception of downtown, but the City as a whole.

In the neighborhoods west of Market Street, there is an opportunity to strengthen the entire area by building on undeveloped land while at the same time reducing the number of vacant properties. The northern edge of the DDD in this area runs along 9th Street which is an im- portant corridor with a bus route that links planned pri- ority projects in the Creative District to Market Street. The southern boundary along 4th Street is a major gate- way into downtown.

In the downtown neighborhood east of Market Street, the opportunity exists to strengthen the neighborhood core where several significant projects are in progress between 7th and 11th streets. Walnut Street is one of the most heavily traveled streets in the City and should become a connection to the rest of downtown. Church Street, the eastern boundary of the district, is another important City gateway and improving the residential blocks on both sides of the street strengthens the link to Old Swedes Church and the 7th Street Peninsula.

These areas are included in the Downtown Development District to spur broader downtown revitalization. This plan is built upon the strength of the downtown core, highlights current downtown revitalization efforts, rec- ognizes areas of opportunity and targets areas in need of strengthening.


Neighborhood Development


Real Estate and Housing

Public Works