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 40 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 $100 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

  • Recruits Businesses
  • Develops Downtown Economy
  • Revitalizes Downtown
  • Promotes Downtown Business and Development
  • Supports Existing Downtown Businesses
  • Offers Small Business Loan Program and Ribbon Cuttings
  • Assists with Site Selection
  • Acts as a Liaison and Provides Business and Resident Advocacy
  • Lists Downtown Businesses and Properties in Online Directory

Click here for more details about what we do for downtown Wilmington.

Standing Committees

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.

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.

Enjoy Committee 

Mission:  To promote the urban lifestyle and the shops, restaurants, and attractions that improve the quality of life enjoyed by surrounding residents, local citizens, and out-of-town visitors.
Vision:  Downtown Wilmington is a mixed-use center with a variety of housing options and a distinctive shopping environment of locally-owned stores, restaurants, and attractions.

Click here for more information regarding committees.

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