Over the past five years, Downtown Wilmington has experienced significant growth and development with over $346 million worth of new investments transforming the historic Downtown. New Hanover County, working with Wilmington Downtown Incorporated (WDI) selected the Benchmark Planning team to conduct a Market Demand Analysis to determine viable development opportunities for the Downtown central business district and a Site Analysis to examine land use codes and architectural issues that could lead to the redevelopment of the entire one block site called Project Grace. At the conclusion of the study, the County contracted with Benchmark to lead Phase Two of the project, helping the County prepare a request for proposal to select a development team to redevelop the entire downtown county-owned block.
Recently, the Local Government Commission (LGC) approved the County’s $57 million financing plan to fund Project Grace. The redevelopment project will feature construction of a 95,000-square-foot library and museum, which will open by the end of 2025. Commercial and residential development on the block will follow.