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Self-contained communities a growing trend

READ MORE: Self-contained communities a growing trend
It's been five years since the first stores at Mayfaire opened their doors to customers. Despite the recession, the developer says he's not done building on the property yet. Williams and Sonoma, World Market, and Pier 1 were among the first stores to open at the Mayfaire Town Center. Other stores like Linens ‘n Things have come and gone, but additions like Barnes and Noble and a movie theater have helped the retail center grow. “Oh yeah it's grown so large, it really has, and it's just so quaint,” said shopper Jean McLean. On March 25, 2004, ten stores at Mayfaire opened their doors for the first time. Five years later the complex has more than eighty tenants. During the summer months Mayfaire employs more than 2,000 people. Wilmington Chamber of Commerce Chairman Vinton Fountain said Mayfaire also helps draw other North Carolinians to the area. “It's a regional retail hub, so it sort of acts as an economic engine to bring people to Wilmington, to New Hanover from really probably six or seven counties away.” Developer HJ Brody said he expects Mayfaire to continue its growth. There are plans for an additional 100,000 square feet of retail space next to the movie theater, and a new hotel to accompany the Hilton Garden Inn. Shoppers said what makes Mayfaire so appealing is that they can get their shopping done while getting some fresh air at the same time. “It's a beautiful shopping area and it's different, and I love shopping outdoors. It's a change from the mall, the usual,” said Rita Tobia. Experts said Mayfaire’s success has started a trend in our area. Economist Woody Hall said people are attracted to places where they can find shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. Hall called places like Mayfaire, the Forum and Lumina Station self-contained communities. Having available resources within walking distance allows local residents to become more familiar with their neighbors and storeowners. “I think it does create a sense of community. In fact we would suggest that Mayfaire is a model for a lot of other things that will take place in the not to distant future.” One of those communities is already underway at Autumn Hall. The development will include private residences, eleven parks, a nature trail, several fitness facilities, and retail stores.

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Mayfair is safer too

I like going to Mayfair when I'm in Wilmington. You can walk the streets and not have to worry about getting jumped like downtown. I wish Macy's would open another store there.

Mayfaire Type Developments

I agree that Mayfaire is an asset to our area. My only wish is that this had been created downtown---or that the city had recognized the value of this type of commercial activity downtown. Our downtown area is in place, and it was amazing to watch the development of Mayfaire which basically "created" an alternate "downtown". The dynamic mix of quality national retailers, entertainment venues, hotels and residences would have propelled downtown Wilmington onto a new level of sophistication and vitality. That being said, thoughtful developments of this type are a boon to Wilmington over all!

Mayfair Downtown

I too like going to Mayfair and it would be great to have something like this downtown. But there is one big problem... The historical preservation people. God forbid we tear down an old abandoned building that's not even safe to be in.

Any idea

Do you have any idea who much it would cost to have created Mayfaire downtown? I would guess the cost would have been double at least. This is why you can't have a successful revitilization in downtown Wilmington. The history nuts won't let you alter or tear down dilipidated buildings, therefore it's not economicly feasible.

A Mayfaire downtown???

Oh, wouldn't THAT be a magnet for all the nearby "stellar citizens." Thousands of shoppers carrying cash all within walking distance of Da Hood. Wear Kevlar shoppers....

mayfair kevlar

I never said it would be safe after dark! It would probably be safe to walk around during the day but i wouldn't leave any bags in your car...

mayfair kevlar

I never said it would be safe after dark! Just a better reason to go downtown during daylight hours.


There are no historic buildings in america. They should all be buldozed and then we can finialy have some nice glass, concrete and steel buildings.