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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An extreme makeover is coming to downtown Wilmington. No, not a ballpark. The city wants to redesign riverfront park. The architects revealed some of the plans today.

Riverfront Park was developed in the 1980s. Now it’s getting an upgrade.

“The park is obviously old and tired, and we’re gonna hopefully uplift it with perhaps a new water feature, some new vegetation and trees maybe even add some more greenspace,” landscape architect Brian Jenest said.

Downtown Wilmington business owners listened as landscape architects explained their preliminary design Thursday morning.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” business owner John Hirchak said. “I think we need park space in downtown wilmington, and we need park space on the riverfront.”

It also gave them an opportunity to voice their concerns about what’s missing from the design.

“Cleaning up the bathrooms there, cleaning up the pavilion by the kiosks. I think that’s not currently part of the plan, but it should be part of the plan,” Riverfront Park Vendors Coordinator Marjorie Ulcickas said.

Renovating the area in front of the federal courthouse is only phase one of the project. The entire vision includes stretching the entire park all the way up to the Hilton.

The city received a grant several years ago that will cover the $200,000 price tag of phase one.

As of now, the city does not own the parking lot in front of the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence, or the parking lot next to the Hilton, which would be phases two and three. There is not a concrete plan at this point to move forward on negotiating on those properties, nor does the city have any money budgeted for them.

If you’d like to learn more, there’s a public workshop that’s going on until 7 p.m. It’s in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.

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