Downtown Wilmington: on a roll?

In the past few weeks, two new businesses have opened in Downtown Wilmington, and the new World Cafe Live at the Queen has drawn good crowds in search of live entertainment. 

“Our city is changing for the better,” Mayor James Baker said at Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting for NOSO Boutique, a fashion store for women on West 9th Street.  “We’re going to be able to enjoy it from one end to the other, all the way from the riverfront to the Brandywine River.”

Baker said the downtown area had been hurt in the past by a lack of options for visitors, workers and residents.  “What you’re really trying to create is a happening place that people can feel good about,” the Mayor said.

Two weeks ago, Dimensions and Co. by Ace opened in the district known as LOMA – Lower Market Street – specializing in boutique and work apparel and footwear.  April 1st, the World Cafe Live at the Queen venue opened after a $25-million renovation of the long-vacant Queen Theater at 5th and Market Streets.

Anne Hamilton said her family persuaded her to locate in Delaware after working as a product developer in New York’s garment district.  To her, it made more sense to locate in the city rather than a mall or a strip shopping center.

“I’ve brought a little bit of New York to Wilmington,” Hamilton said.

“What’s good about what you see is that it’s happening during a time when the economy is not booming,” according to the Mayor.  “People are actually looking at the future.  They’re not looking at today, they’re looking at tomorrow.”

Mayor Baker said these and other businesses can fluorish by establishing themselves and getting positive word-of-mouth customers.  “Once they start talking about you, people come.”

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