CFEDC Presents: Riverfront Development on the Cape Fear

A standing-room only crowd gathered May 22 at WHQR for the latest CFEDC Presents: Riverfront Development on the Cape Fear. The panel discussion focused on opportunities for leveraging the riverfront for maximum benefit to our unique regional economic mix.

During the evening, the conversation centered on these questions:

  1. What is the community’s vision for both banks of the Cape Fear River as it flows past downtown Wilmington and regional assets such as Eagles Island?
  2. What are possible uses for the land? What is the “highest and best use” for the land?
  3. What types of quasi-governmental structure (if any) may be needed for planning purposes? What are examples of other successful projects, both in NC and elsewhere?
  4. Other: What is planned by the Battleship Commission, Eagles Island Coalition, various private & public landowners and stakeholders? Possible uses already mentioned:
    Baseball stadium, performing arts center, public park, eco-tour facility on Eagles Island, expansion of the battleship “footprint”, marinas, museums, restaurants, etc.

Panelists included:

  • Brent Lane, director for
    the UNC Center for Competitive Economies and economic strategist specializing in the design of development schemes that preserve sensitive natural and cultural heritage sites
  • Steve Coggins, a local attorney well-versed in municipal, state and federal laws concerning coastal development
  • Philip Prete, representative for The Eagles Island Coalition and Senior Environmental Planner for the City of Wilmington
  • Reid Murchison, managing director of investments with Wells Fargo Advisors and former president of the Community Foundation of Southeastern North Carolina, among other notable local non-profits
  • Donna Ray Mitchell, LEED accredited professional and manager for ColeJenest & Stone’s Wilmington office and former local CAMA officer for New Hanover County.

For more information about the event, contact CFEDC board member Tom Conway at or call 910/509-1818.

Coming Up Next … Transportation (June) and New Hanover County Commissioner Candidate Forum (September) Continue Reading →