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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The City of Wilmington this morning finalized the purchase of 6.63 acres along the northern downtown riverfront for a passive public park.

The city and Riverfront Holdings II signed closing documents at City Hall for just over $3.86 million. The purchase was approved at the Nov. 19 council meeting and will be paid for with a combination of funds from the city’s saving account and monies left over from completed capital projects.

The property is part of a larger piece of the former Almont Shipping Company property.

The city says placement of a public park along the riverfront is consistent with the Vision 2020 Downtown Plan, which states: “The lack of downtown parks and open space has a critical impact on the urban environment. Without inviting recreation opportunities or public gathering places, the reasons for visiting or staying downtown are reduced for both local residents and tourists.”

Comment on this Story

  • guesty

    How long before the city sells the same property for 1/2 it paid? And then how long until they buy it back for 3 times as much?

    Thank you to those that didn’t bother to vote and those that voted for these clowns.

  • SnatchHammer

    It seems that has happened already with that property.

  • lonetraveler

    that this $3.8 million looks alot like the incentive amount needed to keep the film industry a part of the area’s empolyment base?? Whereas the film industry puts a lot of locals to work, how many will the downtown park employ? Yep, just what I thought, next to nothing. Someone very influential must have had ties to the ownership of that property. While parks are nice to have, jobs are even nicer. However, not very surprised that this city would do something this wasteful.

  • MG

    It’s amazing how easy it is to spend other people’s money. While parks are nice, it is not the time to spend this kind of money in a city that has a growing gang crime problem and an economy that teeters between bad and worse.


    I agree the money should have been spent another way. However, there is justification for the purchase-the rapid disappearance of available “green” areas in the city especially along the waterfront downtown. Bad timing financially, maybe, smart for future city planning along the waterfront yes! Great property for an amphitheater!

  • gusto102

    now that the city has closed on this land, let’s make sure that citizen input is listened to. there needs to be a draw to the northern part of downtown. the nearby marina is only an added bonus.

    how about soccer fields for Saturday games, so families will go to northern downtown and hopefully spend money on the weekend. how about an amphitheater or some sort of outdoor venue to draw a diverse group to this part of town. an area to hold music festivals, beer festivals, chili cook offs, food truck rodeos, etc…

    instead of the city being anti business, why dont they implement two or three areas within this park to draw as diverse a crowd as possible and allow for maximum benefit of the surrounding land and store owners.

  • BulletFree

    I’d rather not go to northern downtown, I don’t want to get shot. No matter how lovely the park may be, I’d rather keep my life intact.

  • another chuck

    If memory serves… and star news articles as well… that site was once designated as a hazardous clean up site. What a bargain.

  • Guest-o-matic

    “Funds from the city’s savings account and monies left over from completed capital projects.”? Well, where I come from that’s called “Taxpayer dollars”, THAT’S where the money came from. Guess it doesn’t really matter, the city dwelling voters get what they deserve and now have another high profit piece of real estate to join the convention center, the heavilly utilized 1898 memorial featuring the iconically huge rusty bowling pins and another failing marina that nobody wanted. In addition, we will have yet another high-end gathering place for our dear and glorious gang members to drink their night-train, smoke crack and push a litle more heroin on our children.
    Meanwhile, the city employees will continue to receive less than meager pay inreases, Saffo’s hair spray stock will accumulate in the ciy council chamber back room and the putrid smell of puke and urine will continue to emanate from the Front St. sidewalks.

    Wilmington city council. Ya gotta love ’em…

  • SurfCityTom

    Stage 1 — hire Chapel Hill consultant to design park layout and pedestrian traffic patter — $50,000.

    Stage 2 — bid contacts to build park so it complements the neighboring marina, soon to be built motel, and valued convention center; maybe borrow a page from Ripkin’s Myrtle Beach baseball facility where they are adding another playing field.

    Stage 3 — construct park facilities — cost unknown.

    Unless the city puts the acreage into a federal soil bank program and collects farm subsidies. Maybe this could be used as a downtown grazing lot for the horses used by the mounted officers.


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