About Wilmington Downtown, Inc. (WDI)

The Organization

WDI was originally formed as D.A.R.E. (Downtown Area Revitalization Effort) in 1977 as a public-private partnership between the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County and the private sector. Our organization has had many successes over the past 37 years. Today, the six main areas of focus for WDI are business recruitment, business retention, quality of life, developer services, fundraising and public outreach.

WDI is partially funded by the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County, but relies heavily on private donations. Our organization is able to operate with the support of our partners. WDI is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax-deductible as allowed by the IRS. We encourage you to invest in your downtown; all persons donating $50 or more are considered partners of WDI. Click here to learn more about our partnership program.

Mission & Vision

Mission: To promote the economic growth and development of downtown Wilmington

Vision: Downtown Wilmington is the culturally vibrant and economically prosperous center of the southeast region, and is recognized nationally for its outstanding quality of life

What WDI Does

  • Business Recruitment
  • Site Selection Assistance
  • Small Business Loan Program
  • Business and Resident Advocacy
  • Ribbon Cuttings
  • Online Business and Property Directory
  • E-Newsletter
  • Promotes Downtown Development

Standing Committees

Live Committee

Mission: To develop initiatives to encourage more year-round residential living in Wilmington’s Urban Core.
Vision: Downtown Wilmington is a vibrant center of year-round residents and is recognized for its high quality of life.

Work Committee

Mission: To increase the number of businesses, jobs and tax base in Wilmington’s Urban Core.
Vision: Downtown Wilmington is an active employment environment and serves as a highly productive and desirable place to invest and work.

Play Committee

Mission: To encourage community participation and support of downtown and WDI.
Vision: Downtown Wilmington is the targeted venue for all major regional events and is known as an epicenter of arts, culture and music appealing to all demographics.

Shop Committee

Mission: To recruit and retain sustainable year-round retail businesses and attract new customers in Wilmington’s Urban Core.
Vision: Downtown Wilmington offers a distinctive year-round shopping environment of locally owned independent retailers appealing to locals and tourists alike.

Dream Committee

Mission: To develop new programs, events and potential uses/plans for vacant or under-utilized space in Wilmington’s Urban Core.
Vision: Downtown Wilmington is constantly changing and adapting to new workforce and environmental standards and attracts more residents, businesses and activities each year.

If you are interested in joining a committee, please call (910) 763-7349 or email office@wilmingtondowntown.com.