Stroll along the Christina River on the scenic 1.3-mile Wilmington Riverfront, and you'll pass something for every mood and every taste, from open green spaces to IMAX movie screens, from world-class theater to minor-league baseball ... and more than a dozen places to eat. The Wilmington Riverfront has been through a heck of a transformation over the past 25 years. You will be amazed!
The Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware (RDC), the state-funded 501c3 founded to oversee the growth and restoration of Wilmington’s Christina Riverfront, celebrates their 25th anniversary this April. Since beginning their work in April 1996, the RDC has overseen the transformation of the Christina Riverfront from an abandoned shipbuilding community to one of the State of Delaware’s most vibrant and exciting destinations to live, play, and work.
During the past 25 years, RDC has been focused on creating economic vitality along the Brandywine and Christina Rivers while enhancing the environment, encouraging historic preservation, and increasing public access. Through targeted and leveraged investments, RDC has created employment and residential development while promoting education, the arts, recreation, and tourism. RDC has spearheaded the construction of the Michael S. Purzycki Riverwalk, Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, Hare Pavilion, the Chase Center on the Riverfront, and the DuPont Environmental Education Center. It has also participated in the recruitment of numerous businesses - such as AAA Mid-Atlantic, Barclays, and Navient - and facilitated the construction of new residential units and a multitude of attractions, such as the Delaware Children’s Museum, Riverwalk Mini Golf, the Horizon Riverfront Rink, and Constitution Yards Beer Garden.
Now, as the RDC looks ahead to the future, they have set their sights on expanding to the east side of the Christina. With the recent opening of the Senator Margaret Rose Henry Bridge - directly connecting the west and east banks of the Christina - a new RDC project will see the redevelopment of the river’s eastern shore, creating a new network of roads and an extension of the Riverwalk as well as additional green spaces, attractions, businesses, and residences.
“It was my great fortune for twenty years to be part of a team that had a dream and committed itself to seeing the dream come true,” proclaimed Wilmington Mayor Michael Purzycki, who served as the RDC’s first Executive Director. “Far too many people to recognize and too many to thank but Megan McGlinchey and Mike Hare deserve special mention. What a wonderful ride!”
“The RDC and its board is extremely proud of the progress we have made over the last 25 years to reclaim the Christina Riverfront and to create a place where everyone in and around Wilmington is welcome,” said RDC Executive Director, Megan McGlinchey. “We are excited to continue the next phase of development.”
To learn more about the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware, Riverfront Wilmington, and their current and future projects, visit www.riverfrontwilm25.com, the new web landing page created to mark the anniversary. You can also follow them on Facebook at Friends of Riverfront Wilmington or Instagram, @RiverfrontWilmington.