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The future of businesses on Front Street

READ MORE: The future of businesses on Front Street
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With Kingoff's Jewelers moving from it's downtown location there will be one more empty property on Front Street this fall. Other business owners in the area say it's part of a regular trend. “There are a lot of empty store fronts here, there always are, businesses come and go, retail establishments come and go,” said downtown business owner Meredith McCahan. John Hinnant of Wilmington Downtown, Inc. said the key to keeping downtown business alive is focusing on other stores just like Kingoff's. “What we've got to do is nurture the mom and pop and keep trying to attract small businesses downtown.” But business owners already located downtown say they're not getting the attention they deserve. “A lot of the other retail merchants may be following suit. We may be following Kingoff's and leaving downtown,” McCahan said. One major impact on the decision to stay or go is road improvements planned for the city's vision 2020. The necessary roadwork could put a big strain on business. “I've been real concerned that we're going to shutdown during the busy holiday shopping season,” Hinnant said. If retailers wait for the road repairs they could reap some big benefits. “It'll be a more attractive environment, more attractive for shoppers it will also be more attractive and inviting for investors,” Hinnant said. It's not a mass exodus for downtown businesses. Hinnant said Britt Motorsports has agreed to open a new clothing store at one of the vacant locations. Businesses have also expressed interest in other available spaces, but many of the buildings require landlord repairs before anyone can move in.

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That very stretch closes

That very stretch closes frequently for filming. They're kind of mean about it too. No parking in any spaces for long periods of time during the day. Also, when people read and hear on the news that the streets are lined with rowdy bars, and pedestrians get robbed, whether it's night time or night, many people don't want to take the chance.

Parking Meters Are The Answer

Why not install more parking meters and charge a little more too? Of course I'm being sarcastic. The demise of the Ice House and installation of parking meters started the ball rolling. Harper and Company ran the middle class working stiffs out of downtown...a stupid move. Mayor Saffo just re-enforced Mr. Peterson's thought process and also threw in the convention center. Who will have the money to come to this convention center when all of our businesses have bailed offshore and Obama has taxed us to death? Bring back Ham Hicks, he knew what he was doing.

its amazing how 2 yrs ago

its amazing how 2 yrs ago when all we heard in the news was that getting rid of the one-way streets downtown would make things better. guess that wasnt it. you know i have been living or coming to wilmington for most of my life. 34yrs. i still tell all the visitors and all my friends how much i love downtown. but over the last few years i have slowly become someone who is disappointed in the way downtown is losing its charm. i have to believe that it has been because of the decline of businesses and the community allowing for all the trouble makers and knuckle heads to over take the area. yes i know that as wilmington has grown and more developments pop up away from downtown it effects it also. one thing i always use to tell people was how when you went out at night. it was so cool to be in a club or bar and be having a good time with people in theirs 60's. there was hardly ever fights. everyone felt safe if you wanted to leave at 12 or 1. now i want to leave by 9 or 10 at the latest. at the rate that the town keeps letting this happen, i guess i want have as much to brag to friends and quest anymore

A tragedy

Kingoffs has been a downtown institution for many years. I honor them for their service to the downtown community. The reality is that businesses have to go where the customers are. Unless you are a bar owner or resturant, it ain't downtown. Near riots every Friday and Saturday night do not encourage legimate business.