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Residents of Wilmington's Southside discuss its future

READ MORE: Residents of Wilmington's Southside discuss it's future
Wilmington's city planners are looking to the future, and they are putting the focus on neighborhoods. Tuesday night, residents of Wilmington's Southside attended a session about their vision for their part of the city. Albert Harrison, a resident of Wilmington’s Southside said, "We believe if we do better on the Southside, we'll do better in the entire city." The Southside is roughly outlined by the Cape Fear River and 17th Street Street, along with Queen Street and Greenfield Lake. It is gaining more interest from planners, who are playing off the economic slowdown. "Not everyone would probably see that as an opportunity, but as planners we do because it gives us time to be a little bit proactive and anticipate the needs of the community," said Senior Long Range Planner, Christine Hughes. There are already some proposals on the table for this area, namely the Gateway Project near the base of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. Thomas Duren owns property in the Southside, and said he wants to see it become more attractive to home buyers. "I'm just here to see what issues may develop that we can put out on the table. To see what we can possibly do to make our communities a little more “live-able”, a little more safe." “We want to raise the consciousness so we can maybe possibly move some crime out and move some prosperity in," said Harrison. This hands-on meeting gave people a chance to show planners where they want to see development, as well as define the Southside. With Wilmington already 90% built out, change is inevitable. “Really what we're going to see in the future is redevelopment of our existing properties. There's not a whole lot of vacant land left," said Hughes. Tuesday night was the first in a series of meetings focused on the Southside's future.

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