The New Wilmington Delaware is here. A decade of revitalization efforts across town have paid off and the result is an enlightened & enlivened city where culture and connectivity converge and people choose to Live, Work & Play. The focus on revitalization and renewal in Wilmington has been mainly on two areas of the city: The Wilmington Riverfront and the historic Market Street corridor.
Wilmington Riverfront’s revitalization began approximately fifteen years ago with the Delaware General Assembly’s creation of the Riverfront Development Corporation. The RDC embarked on its mission of transforming an industrial wasteland into a thriving destination rich in history and filled with recreational, cultural, retail and culinary attractions. As a result the Wilmington Delaware Riverfront has flourished into a widely recognized example of successful investments in sustainable urban redevelopment. The area now comprises over 800,000 sq. ft. of office space, The Chase Convention Center, a multitude of restaurants, the Riverfront Market, the DuPont Environmental Education Center at the Urban Wildlife Refuge, The Delaware Children’s Museum, Beautiful Townhomes, The Blue Rocks minor league baseball stadium, Justison Landing apartments and condominiums, the Delaware Theater Company, the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts and the Wilmington Rowing Center. The Riverfront is one of the most sought after office locations in the greater Philadelphia Region. It is home to the world headquarters of ING Direct, Barclay’s Bank’s US credit card headquarters, the headquarters for AAA of the Mid-Atlantic, and Amtrak’s east coast operations center. Because of the area’s rich cultural and recreational attractions and it’s proximity to such esteemed employers, many people now choose to call Wilmington’s Riverfront home. From rental communities such as The Residences at Christina Landing and The Residences at Justison Landing, to condominiums and Townhouses at River Tower and Justison Landing, the area is rich with life, activity and a sense of community.
Market Street was once Wilmington’s primary commercial and cultural corridor. Established in 1731, Market Street functioned as Wilmington’s “Main Street” for over two centuries, populated by dry goods retailers, restaurants, municipal offices and professional centers. Trolley cars once provided mass transportation for local residents and sidewalks were perpetually crowded. Market Street acted as the magnet for public gathering and was a major contributor to Wilmington’s identity. The decline of Market Street and the shuttering of the once-thriving shops followed a familiar arc of urban flight and economic blight in most American cities after the middle of the 20th century. As the American dream of a new and ‘sub-urban’ life prospered, cities like Wilmington were left increasingly vacant and lifeless. It would take most cities half a century to begin to re-imagine, re-define and re-invent themselves as places of substance, life and promise once more.
The revitalization of the Market Street corridor has been in full swing for the past decade and has been fostered by a committed team of city officials, local business owners, private developers and enthusiastic citizens. In the concentrated 10-block stretch of Lower Market street that has been dubbed “LOMA,” a new life has emerged thanks to major street scape enhancements, the renovation of dozens of underused or blighted properties, a major residential presence and the ever-growing collection of entertainment venues. Once again there is vigor and relevance to life on Market Street.Market Street Links: Downtown Visions Market Street’s Business Improvement District and Ambassadors to a cleaner and safer Wilmington Delaware Wilmington Renaissance Corporation a non-profit, economic development organization focused on the revitalization of the City of Wilmington World Cafe Live at The Queen Wilmington’s newest entertainment venue located in the renovated Queen Theater on Market Street The Grand Wilmington’s finest diverse performance venue located in the historic Grand Opera House on Market Street The Residences at Rodney Square Luxury residential apartments in the renovated historic Delaware Trust building on Market Street The Residences at LOMA a collection of unique residential apartments up and down Market Street