WILMINGTON -- A new high-rise project is coming to Downtown Wilmington. A new condominium complex is the latest project to help revitalize the area. It could fall under the category of "if you build it, they will come." Developer Terry Espy wants to turn a 1960s office building into condominiums, in an effort to help revitalize Downtown Wilmington. "Downtown's revitalized when people live there, not just go party and go home," says Espy. As part of the effort, Espy's firm will be demolishing the Wachovia building on Front Street. It will be replaced by a contemporary structure consisting of seventy luxury condos. The units will be larger than standard condos and will feature high-end amenities, to lure buyers to the downtown area. And the plan seems to be working. Espy's firm has already accepted reservations for more than sixty percent of the units. And prospective buyers have not even seen finalized plans yet. "Well, I think what's happening downtown, we're getting tremendous growth with PPD. I really think everything is starting to come this way," says Robert Cooper, prospective buyer. The new building will have a fitness center, theater, and a roof-top pool. But perhaps the biggest selling point is the view. "You can't get over the view. You've got the river, the Battleship, you've got downtown Wilmington that you're going to see every morning when you get up and the skyline at night," says Michelle Clark, prospective buyer. For that reason, the project will be appropriately named 'The View on Water Street.' And that view is drawing people from Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, and even Raleigh. Some are buying for investment, some just for enjoyment. But city officials are hoping each new resident will help make Downtown Wilmington come alive. "The main thing you want to see are more people walking on the street," says Espy. The average size of the condos will be a little over 1,300 square feet. The price for a unit that size will be more than $850,000. Starting price for units will be $495,00. The new building is expected to be finished at the end of 2009.
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