A History of Progress
The Christina Riverfront has come a long way in 20 years.
Riverfront Wilmington before redevelopment.
Photographs courtesy of the Riverfront Development Corporation
In 1996, the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware launched a major state-funded effort to restore the area’s economic vitality.
Twenty years later, Riverfront Wilmington is one of the most exciting redevelopment stories in America, attracting major employers, restaurants, entrepreneurial ventures and exciting residential developments.
In the process, the Christina Riverfront has been transformed from a polluted, industrial wasteland into a thriving destination enjoyed by visitors of all ages.
The RDC is focused on promoting prosperity on the Brandywine and Christina rivers, while enhancing the environment, encouraging historic preservation and promoting public access.
In the beginning, investment in the Riverfront may have been considered a risk. Since then, Riverfront Wilmington has emerged as a hot property for real estate development on multiple fronts.
Riverfront Wilmington today.
Dilapidated warehouses have been replaced with restaurants, shops, and the Chase Center on the Riverfront, a regional conference facility with the adjoining Westin hotel. Vacant historic buildings have been restored to serve as corporate headquarters for major employers, including Barclaycard and Capital One.
A shoreline once strewn with debris is now lush with native plantings and has been transformed into the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge, a dynamic wetland preserve. Children and other visitors can learn about the environment at the DuPont Environmental Education Center.
Crumbling parking lots have been converted into parks and sylvan gathering areas for concerts, festivals and community celebrations, all with waterfront views.
The Riverfront also has proved its resiliency. A center originally dedicated to outlet shopping is now a vibrant center for businesses.
Riverfront Wilmington offers the pedestrian-friendly amenities of an urban setting combined with the quality-of-life benefits of a mixed-use community. Companies are choosing to locate on the Riverfront for many reasons, including:
- Close proximity to transportation, with Interstate 95 and the Amtrak train station located within one mile of all Riverfront locations.
- Convenient amenities for residents, employees and visitors, including numerous restaurants, shops and cultural attractions within easy walking distance.
- A safe and clean environment, featuring roving security ambassadors and maintenance staff.
- Lots of free parking, plus metered street parking.
- The enjoyment and vitality of living and working along a scenic riverfront.