Wilmington Downtown Incorporated will host a nightlife forum later this year to help address violence downtown. The executive director for WDI John Hinnant says this forum is the first step in creating a master plan to curb violence downtown.
The Sociable City Forum will be a one-day event for state and local leaders to share strategies on planning and managing downtown districts. Bars in the Downtown Wilmington area have proven to create violent environments, which have sparked many concerns among residents and store owners. Alcohol and drug abuse have led to vandalism, public urination and break-ins. Hinnant admits it's a problem that's making people stay away from downtown both during the day and especially at night.
We wanted to talk with store-owners on front street who don't own bars or restaurants to get their take on what's going on downtown. They wouldn't go on camera with us, because they said they didn't want to show up for work some morning to find trash strewn all over the place or broken windows. It just shows how tense things are downtown right now.