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Residents of Old Wilmington Residents of Old Wilmington
We Care about our Community 
  • ROW Contributes monetary grants for improvements and beautification
    • Market Street Trees
    • Southern Hospitality Sculpture
    • Post Office Palm Trees
    • Salvation Army
    • 1898 Memorial Hope Circle
  • Row Members Volunteer their time and effort for worthy projects
    • Keep Wilkerson Alley clean
    • Participate in Work on Wilmington
Residents of Old Wilmington is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, improvement and beautification of Wilmington's historic districts.
The ROW Neighborhood covers the area from Queen St. to Red Cross St. and from 8th St. to the Cape Fear River. ROW supports the City’s vision to restore and retain the historical integrity of all buildings and enhance the public safety for its citizens throughout the entire Wilmington historical area and the downtown business district.
Find out more about ROW by reading the news articles below. To join ROW as a member or friend, click on Become a Member or Friend under the Welcome heading on the left above.
~ ROW News ~
ROW Hosts Forum for Mayor and Council Candidates
Posted on Aug 15th, 2017 Comments (0)
The public is invited to attend a forum of candidates for Wilmington Mayor and City Council on Thursday, September 21 at the Hannah Block USO Community Center, 120 S. Second St. The forum is sponsored by ROW and will begin with a "meet and greet" at 6:30 p.m. The program that follows will allow candidates to respond to questions from moderator, Jon Evans, WECT news anchor and then from the public. The forum will conclude by 9 p.m.
ROW has asked each candidate to respond in advance to questions about current and prior civic involvement and about specific policy issues that impact budget decisions and the vibrancy of Wilmington's downtown. Results will be presented at the forum.
The two Mayoral candidates are:  incumbent Bill Saffo and Todd Zola.
The nine candidates vying for three city council seats are:  Kevin O'Grady (incumbent), Charlie Rivenbark (incumbent), Clifford Barnett, Hollis Briggs, Jr., Phillip White, Caylan J. McKay, James A Ray and Perry Fisher.
Downtown Wilmington Issues
Posted on Jul 13th, 2017 Comments (0)
Residents in the Historic District will be impacted by decisions that will be made by the City, County and State in the coming weeks, months and years that will affect the quality of life downtown. These issues are monitored closely by ROW.
I.  The City Council approved the replacement of the Water Street Parking Deck with a mixed-use structure to be called Riverplace. An additional $7.6 million dollars was recently added to the original estimated cost, to be divided between the City and East-West Partners, the company contracted to do the work.
II.  Short Term Rental in Wilmington buy houses or condos for the purpose of renting them for very short periods of time, often a couple of days or a weekend. These rentals are marketed and booked through Internet websites such as VRBO or AirBnB. Two types of Short Term Rentals have been defined by the City:
  • Whole House STRs are homes that are rented without the owner on the premises.
  • Home Stays are found in homes where the owner is on the premises and rents out rooms for short terms.
The Wilmington City Council soon will be reviewing resolutions and changes that have been formulated and defined by the City Planning Staff.
The conflict over STRs centers mainly on whether Whole House Short Term Rentals should be allowed in Residential Districts.  Currently, Wilmington's Zoning Code does not permit any businesses to operate in neighborhoods zoned single family residential. The City estimates that approximately 540 STRs (both Whole House and Home Stays) are operating within all of Wilmington. Investors who own Whole House STRs in residential neighborhoods want the code to be changed to allow their businesses to exist everywhere, including Residential Districts. 
ROW favors Home Stays in Residential Districts and all types of STRs in the Central Business District which is zoned commercial. ROW opposes Whole House STRs in residential neighborhoods for the following reasons:
  • Neighborhoods lose a sense of community as strangers come and go.
  • Short Term renters often disrupt residential neighborhoods with noise and sometimes drunken behavior.
  • Parking becomes unavailable to permanent residents when renters' cars fill the street.
  • Property values are lowered by the presence of STRs. By law, realtors must identify nearby STRs, which may cause home owners to have more difficulty selling their house.
  • Affordable housing is reduced when apartments or condos that were formerly long term rentals are purchased for use as STRs.
If you want to voice your concerns about protecting the Residential District, email the City Council at:  Council@wilmington.gov
III. The Cape Fear Crossing Project is being proposed by the State Department of Transportation that will determine where a new bridge will be built between Brunswick and New Hanover Counties. Representatives from both counties met in April to discuss the possible six routes being proposed. Mike Kozlosky, Executive Director of Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, has announced that the two preferred routes are south of the current bridge which would not harm the downtown historic area. ROW favors the southernmost routes that would not impact the Historic District.
The final decision, however, rests with the State Transportation Department and public hearings will be held before the proposed 2020 building date. Downtown residents need to remain vigilant and voice their opinions to protect the Historic areas.
IV. New Hanover County is currently reviewing a proposal, the Grace Street Redevelopment Project, to reconfigure the block where the main branch of the New Hanover Public Library is located. Land in that block is available for development, and the County's comprehensive plan proposes a new configuration for the entire block, including a new library. The County will study four options, including one that proposes a 15-story hotel and condo development. This issue affects all residents who use the library, and the public must attend public hearings and voice their opinions.
To read more about the proliferation of Short Term Rentals in Wilmington, click on Read More.
ROW Grants Impact Downtown
Posted on Jun 1st, 2017 Comments (0)
The impact of ROW Grants on Downtown Wilmington is evident in the "Before Palms" and "After Palms" photos above showing the improvement along the Post Office Parking Lot on Second Street.
This year, ROW awarded a grant of $2000 to the Bellamy Mansion for story-board exhibits in the slave quarters to add information about slave life. Row proudly supports the educational efforts of the museum, which serves 25,000 visitors annually.
ROW also awarded a $2500 grant to the Salvation Army to make preparations to sell the church facility on Third Street in anticipation of a new Salvation Army campus to be built near the airport.
Azalea Sweep Volunteers
Posted on Apr 6th, 2017 Comments (0)
On April 1, ROW volunteers cleaned the streets of downtown Wilmington in preparation for the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival. These hearty volunteers were armed with trash bags as they spread throughout the city streets to pick up trash and debris and beautify our downtown. Thank you to those who participated.
Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner
Posted on Feb 20th, 2017 Comments (0)
Each year ROW hosts the Law Enforcement Appreciation (LEAP) Dinner in February. The Wilmington Police Department and the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office are invited to share a meal with ROW members. Generous portions of food are donated by the members, and the leftovers are taken back to the respective law enforcement offices.
In the picture on the left, Police Chief Ralph Evangelous on the left shares a moment with Sheriff Edward McMahon. 
ROW extends a heartfelt thank you to all of the local law enforcement personnel who continually monitor our community to keep us safe.
ROW Favors Preserving Brick Streets
Posted on Nov 13th, 2016 Comments (0)
Wilmington's historic brick streets are important cultural and economic assets of the city. They help define our historic districts and promote tourism. Unfortunately, many have been covered with asphalt or are in disrepair, and in 2016, the city began reviewing the brick street policy that was defined in 1987. The city studied traffic data and cost factors. Citizens expressed their preference for saving the brick streets at public meetings and through an online survey.
The City Council has allocated funds for "Brick Street Rehabilitation" in the 2017-18 Budget Capital Improvement Program. We hope to see improvements in the coming year.
 Click on "Read More" to learn about the input from former ROW Mayor, Sylvia Kochler and George Edwards, Executive Director of the Historic Wilmington Foundation, who formed a study group to develop a list of recommendations for maintaining and removing asphalt from brick streets. 

~ Upcoming Events ~
Candidates Forum
Thursday, September 21st, 7:00 PM at Hannah Block Community Arts Center
The public is encouraged to attend the Candidates Forum on Thursday, September 21 at the Hannah Block USO Community Center, 120 S. Second St. You can learn about the candidates' positions on downtown issues.
ROW Monthly Member Meeting
Wednesday, October 11th, 7:00 at Tileston School
We look forward to seeing members at the first monthly meeting of the new ROW year. If you have not renewed your ROW membership, you can do so at the meeting or use PayPal online.

View All Events

~ Back Door Kitchen Tour News ~
ROW will hold its 12th annual Back Door Kitchen Tour on Saturday, October 14 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Tickets are available in advance Sept. 1 through October 13 ($25):
  • Online through PayPal at www.rowilmington.org/tour
  • Finkelstein's Music Store, Front & Market Streets, Downtown Wilmington
  • Ivy Cottage, Market Street
  • Harris Teeter Stores in the Greater Wilmington area starting Sept. 21
Tickets available the day of the Tour - Oct. 14 ($30):
  • Cash purchases at the Bellamy Mansion, 503 Market Street
  • Cash purchases at any home on the tour
  • Credit card purchases at Finkelstein's
ROW especially thanks Finkelstein's Music Store, the Ivy Cottage, Harris Teeter Stores and the Bellamy Mansion for facilitating the sale of tickets for the BDKT.
For more information about the Back Door Kitchen Tour, including the list of houses, click on the BDKT Page option on the upper left side of this page. The Back Door Kitchen Tour is the only fundraiser sponsored by Residents of Old Wilmington. After tour expenses,proceeds go back into our community for beautification, preservation, restoration, and other improvements through ROW projects and community-based grants.
If you have any questions, contact us at bdkt@rowilmington.org
ROW thanks the generous Sponsors and Friends of the 2017 Tour listed below:
I. Gold Sponsors
Carolina Retirement Planners 910-815-3100         
Stone Garden                        910-452-1619     
Wilmington Ole Time Photo  910-297-1895         
Find us on Facebook
Keith and Sylvia Kochler - Friends
II. Silver Sponsors
The Ivy Cottage                    910-815-0907       
Plantation Building Corp.      910-763-8760          
Southeastern Marble
& Granite                               910-763-7700          
Element Outdoor Living         910-297-3999          
Kitchen Blueprints                 910-763-2536         
Hollingsworth Cabinetry        910-251-1490         
Addis Construction                910-509-0263          
Southeastern Tile Connection 910-799-5565
III. Bronze Sponsors
McKenzie Baker Interiors         910-352-3355       
Leo Electric                             910-777-1311       
Atlantic Appliance                    910-791-2222       
Big Sky Design                         910-793-3992       
IV. Friends of the Tour
Cape Fear Spice Merchants  910-772-2980            
Bellamy Mansion Museum    910-251-3700            
Front Street Brewery           910-251-1935           
Caprice Bistro                     910-815-0810      
Indochine                           910-251-9229       
Historic Wilmington Fdn.     910-762-2511       
Pinpoint                             910-769-2972      
Apple Annie's                      910-799-9023     
City Club                            910-343-1880      
Pilot House                         910-343-0200      
Finkelstein's                        910-763-7377      
Harris Teeter Stores                                        
For more information about the Back Door Kitchen Tour or to sign up for automatic reminders about the upcoming tour, click here  BDKT Page 

~ ROW Awards ~
Good Neighbor Award
Michael McGinty and Jackie Breny are the 2017 recipients of the ROW Good Neighbor Award. ROW Mayor Phoebe Bragg presented the award at the Historic Wilmington Foundation 2017 Preservation Awards Ceremony on May 25.
Congratulations to Michael and Jackie for their continual efforts to benefit the ROW neighborhood. Michael and Jackie consistently volunteer as docents for the Back Door Kitchen Tour, and they regularly attend the ROW monthly member meetings. Michael is a former Treasurer of ROW.
Garden Award
Congratulations to Gregg Thomas and Tom Faust, the recipients of the 2017 Dolly Pearson Garden Award. Their yard and plant-filled porch at the corner of Front and Church Streets are always beautiful. Pedestrians often stop to admire their seasonal changes. They set a high standard of beauty in our neighborhood.