WILMINGTON — Finals plans for the multi-million dollar park that has been several years in the making have been submitted to the city of Wilmington, complete with an amphitheater, greenspace, and water features.
The North Waterfront Park will be paid for by a $20 million parks bond passed in 2016. The 6.5-acre plot is located near the Isabel Holmes Bridge on the Cape Fear River.
Though the park will serve as greenspace and regional park, it will also be the home of an event venue that will be managed by Live Nation. In October of last year, the city entered into an agreement with Live Nation to allow the private company to help guide the plans for the public park.
“You can see how much people wanted greenspace and lawn … of course this not just a regional park, but also an event venue. This balance of creating a park, it’s a neighborhood park, it’s a regional park, and it’s a destination for visitors. Balancing every day park usage and the character of the park for the every day user with the fact that it is an event venue was one of our main challenges,” Mary Margaret Jones of the design firm Hargreaves Jones said.
Both professional opinion, as well as public, input helped guide the design process of the park. Nearly 1,500 public surveys were completed, giving designers what Jones said was a clear set of wants:
- Maximize greenspace
- Wetlands and hills for walking
- Education opportunities
- Tree buffers
- Activate public space
- Safe central play area and splash pad
- Café/food and beverage seating area
- Garden areas
- Connect to the river
- Terraces along river
- Integration with Riverwalk
- Emphasis on river views
The final design for the park has capitalized on the views of the Cape Fear River, with the amphitheater stage located almost directly on the river. The audience would face the stage looking northwest to avoid the setting sun.
Construction is expected to begin this year, according to the city’s plans.
Full plans for the future park can be found below.
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