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Second riverfront development on horizon in Wilmington

Riverfront Development Corporation

The City of Wilmington is eyeing a second developed riverfront.

Elected officials and leaders of the Riverfront Development Corporation gathered on the east bank of the Christina River in Wilmington Friday to unveil a master plan for a second riverfront project. 

The Riverfront Development Corporation proposes a $100 million transformation of roughly 86 acres along the east bank of the Christina River, mimicking redevelopment of the west bank it embarked on more than two decades ago. 

Gov. John Carney says the planned remediation of old industrial sites and infrastructure investments should bring an economic benefit to residents by attracting private investment. 

“This is what this is all about, having sites ready for employers creating an asset that we can all enjoy in the City of Wilmington, an asset that creates tax revenue to support so much of the good work that the Mayor and his team does,” Carney said at a press event Friday. 


Megan McGlinchey, executive director of the Riverfront Development Corporation, says her organization has already acquired several parcels of land for the project, and is working with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control on a plan to “clean up every acre.”

“That way … once potential developers are vetted and approved the land will be ready for them to get to work in creating the spaces and opportunities we envision,” she said. 

The Riverfront Development Corporation’s master plan for the east riverfront includes 1.9 million square feet of office space, over 4,200 residential units and more than 350,000 square feet of retail space, plus plenty of parking. 

The first phase will include stormwater management for the flood-prone area, roadways, parking, a riverwalk and other public areas. It’s expected to be completed by 2023 and cost around $30 million. McGlinchey says $20 million of this is coming from DelDOT’s capital budget. 

Some development on the east bank has already begun, with the $30 million Chase Fieldhouse, built by Buccini/Pollin Group a few years ago on South Market Street. 

One residential project is already planned for A St., which runs along the river, toward the low-income residential neighborhood of Southbridge.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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