Empie Park expands into largest tennis facility east of I-95 in NC


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — One Wilmington park got a makeover just in time for perfect outdoor activity weather.

The City of Wilmington held a ribbon cutting Wednesday to celebrate the completion of the $1.425 million Empie Park Improvement Project. The park is located at 3405 Park Avenue.

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Improvements include five additional hard tennis courts with LED lighting, 61 new parking spaces, landscaping, sidewalks that connect to the newly completed Gary Shell Cross-City Trail, and connectivity between Wrightsville Avenue and Park Avenue via a second access from Caswell Street.

Lisa Estep, who plays in two Wilmington recreation leagues, says this is a great new edition.

“It’s amazing to have these facilities right here,” Estep said. “It’s been a long time coming because this was phase three. We’ve had those courts for a while and we’ve been really lucky to have them and now to have these and it’ll just make tennis available to so many different people.”

It is the largest tennis facility east of I-95 in North Carolina.

The improvements began in July 2018 and were funded by the city’s multi-year construction program approved as part of the city’s annual budget.

This project was a continuation of the Empie Phase 1 Improvements completed in 2010, which consisted of an additional 10 hard tennis courts with lights, a clubhouse, basketball courts and additional parking spaces.

The Althea Gibson Tennis Complex now has 24 hard courts with lights to allow for more public play and larger scale tournaments and events.

If you would like to book a time slot to use any of these courts visit here.