While Wilmington’s growth over the past 20 years has been very exciting, I expect the next two decades to be even more compelling.
On the national stage, Wilmington has emerged as a best-in-class community with a vibrant history, cultural base and exceptional quality of life. As a segment of our country’s population transitions away from dense urban areas, they will look to communities like Wilmington to call home.
Local investment we have been making in infrastructure (roadways, water/sewer, public spaces) will pay dividends, enabling Wilmington to flourish with the coming growth.
These infrastructure investments will open new areas for development, especially in the northern part of the county where water and sewer access has been limited.
As Wilmington continues to expand outward New Hanover County and Pender County will begin to grow together and will become more seamlessly integrated. Development within the city limits will become more robust as we transition away from old development paradigms to more dense, efficient mixed-use projects.
The live, work, play model promises to be exciting, and more of these projects will become the norm as land prices rise and legacy properties are demolished and redeveloped. As we focus on mixed-use projects with greater density, centralized shopping and living nodes will emerge.
Each area will have unique characteristics and proximate goods and services. Residents will travel across town less frequently to do their shopping.
Raleigh is a great example of this – the North Hills, Crabtree Valley and Briar Creek areas all have their own unique character and generally serve their geographic area. Similarly, the downtown, Mayfaire and Forest Hills areas will all continue to develop their own unique identities.
Wilmington has a bright future, and we have much to look forward to!
H. David Swain, owner of Swain & Associates, is a longtime Wilmington developer of shopping centers, office buildings and warehouses. He is working on a major mixed-use project at Military Cutoff and Eastwood roads called CenterPoint