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Old 06-19-2015, 03:31 PM
 
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Hi, I just visited Wilmington, NC in hopes of a move and since our time was brief, we were not able to see much. Downtown and the beaches are great, but I can't figure out the middle of the city. Yes, there's shopping but it has no personality! Did I miss something?

Also, I've noticed there are multiple subdivisions for housing. We would love to rent a single family home either in a safer area of downtown, or right outside of Wrightsville beach. Why so many gated communities?

Thanks

Last edited by datajen; 06-19-2015 at 04:22 PM..
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:48 PM
 
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I don't really understand what you're asking, what personality do you normally find in a commercial district? Costcos, Targets, and Walmarts are pretty much the same where ever I've been. At least I assume that's what you're talking about. And there is only one gated community in Wilmington. Is one a lot?
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:58 PM
 
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Apologies, and thank you for your reply. I meant subdivisions, not gated. Like newer constructions that you drive into with a sign in front entering a "community." I'm not used to seeing much of that. Just wondering if they dominate the city or are there a good amount of regular independent homes out there (I've been checking Craigslist and Zillow but still wanted the general scoop)..

As far as the shopping area, I guess I've never seen one like this where it's just one long stretch in between a very cool downtown and then the beaches. Getting used to the idea as Chicago and Baltimore don't have this, but it could be good thing!

I want the smaller city as is Wilmington and really liked the area outside of Wrightsville with a yoga studio and coffee shop-beautiful! Unfortunately, Chicago took it's hipster toll on me and trying to be open-minded

Last edited by datajen; 06-19-2015 at 05:18 PM..
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Old 06-20-2015, 06:34 AM
 
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Ah, okay. What you're seeing is the result of a small town's sudden population explosion. In 1990, the population of Wilmington was around 50,000. Today the population is about 120,000. All those subdivisions sprouted like mushrooms in response to the influx of new residents. The single, non-subdivision homes are out there, but they're greatly overshadowed by the mega developments. You can mostly find them in the older, pre-boom neighborhoods - Sunset Park, Carolina Place, Audubon, Forest Hills - or further out in what used to be farmland.
The city and county governments in Wilmington have been controlled by realtors and real estate developers for as long as I can remember. This is the result
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Old 06-20-2015, 04:04 PM
 
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Oh, gotcha. Thank you! The Greenville area, I think it's called, right outside Wrightsville beach is so pretty. I wish they'd build a grocery store downtown! )
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:17 AM
 
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Wilmington commercial is an interesting thing...it appears that it stretches long. But in reality it is 3 distinct commercial areas...the Mall/Midtown area, the Mayfaire area, and the College Rd and Market St area. Everything else is really just fill in nodes.

The Mayfaire and Mall area actually appear fairly planned and organized. The College Rd and Market St area is a hodge podge mess of strip centers/big box stores that were mostly thrown up when I-40 was completed or modified since then. Downtown has some niche commercial (Cotton Exchange, etc..) but it is more of an entertainment district in a historic riverfront setting.

As to the neighborhoods in the midtown area. There are a few off of College Rd. Winter Park/Audobon is the oldest area, essentially bungalow style houses on or near Wrightsville Ave. The College Park subdivision is next to UNCW. Long Leaf Hills is next to Hugh McRae Park, Pine Valley is south and west of Long Leaf Hills. Lincoln Forest is next to the mall. Woodberry Forest is on the East side of Pine Valley. Most other stuff is extensions or separate small subdivisions that were built in the last 25 years, many of which have their own names/signs.
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