Gwenyfar Rohler’s article “Live Local. Live Small” [from the June 8 edition] describes the importance of infill growth in development in urban areas such as Wilmington’s downtown. Wilmington downtown began as a successful revitalization effort in the early Eighties and several years thereafter began a gradual process of re-development. Infill is vital in shaping through structured composition, to any major and minor urban settings. It is crucial the right size, architecture, color, height and uses fit within all city code, zoning and historical district requirements. More importantly to this urban forming is that infill maintains the character of downtown, especially for the now, and how it looked and functioned in the past.
Along Water Street there are a number of vacant parcels that will have major infill development occur with multi functional (mixed uses) and varied land uses. The old Ice House Parcel, the former Wachovia Building site (The View project), and the Water Street parking deck are key areas of infill that will eventually occur. This infill is significant because it will build upon Wilmington’s existing and not always noted skyline. By placing key and new structures in these parcels makes great strenglet [sic] to the already existing post card look of Downtown Wilmington.
Thousands of cities across the U.S., small and large, under revitalization and redevelopment phases, would give anything to have what Downtown Wilmington has to offer: the selected pattern of European and variations of architecture types in the central business district that draw to the core of commercial and urban residential uses. There are structures that still are occupied and used that were built 200 years ago.
Wilmington downtown is surrounded by residential neighborhoods with resemblance of antebellum era and pre-revolutionary living. This all is what makes downtown Wilmington and its living history a key representation of a true and old port city. Thanks for the explanation and significance of ‘infill’ by Rohler’s article and her view of Wilmington through special lenses.
I’m the former town planner of the Town of Shallote, a Wilmington native, a rural and urban planner and dweller.
Christopher Wright Rogers, MPA
Carolina Consults & Associates