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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, but a new cost estimate has been proposed by East-West Partners, the company contracted to do the work. The City has announced that a projected 7.6 million dollars will be added to the total cost of the project with the intention of splitting that amount between the City and the development company. The Council will hold a public session on August 15 to discuss the matter.
II.  Short Term Rental businesses 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 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 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 reasons listed below:
  • 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 formally 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 to Bellamy Mansion and Salvation Army
Posted on Jun 1st, 2017 Comments (0)
A ROW grant of $2000 was awarded to the Bellamy Mansion to be used for six story-board exhibits in the slave quarters. The mansion is currently enlarging the information displays about slave life. Row is proud to support the educational efforts of the museum, which serves 25,000 visitors annually and sponsors additional events and lectures.
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 ~
ROW Membership Meeting
Wednesday, September 13th, 7:00
The first meeting of the ROW 17/18 year will be the annual Membership Meeting on September 13 on the USS North Carolina Battleship. ROW's membership runs from September to September and annual dues are paid during that month. ROW dues remain at a modest $10 per person. Please come to the meeting to rejoin ROW and socialize with fellow members. Refreshments will be provided.
Candidates Forum
Thursday, September 21st, 7:00 PM at Hannah Block Community Arts Center
ROW will host a Candidates Forum at the Hannah Block Community Arts Center at 7:00 PM on Thursday, September 21. Candidates for mayor and city council will be asked to speak and answer questions. The public is invited to attend.

View All Events

~ Back Door Kitchen Tour News ~
ROW will hold its 12th annual Back Door Kitchen Tour on Saturday, October 14 from 11 until 5. Last year over 500 patrons visited nine beautiful homes in the Historic District. Ticket information will be available later in the summer.
The Back Door Kitchen Tour is the only fundraiser sponsored by Residents of Old Wilmington. 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
Our members are encouraged to patronize the following businesses who were Sponsors or Friends of the 2016 Tour:
Plantation Building Corp.           910-763-8760              info@plantationbuildingcorp.com            www.plantationbuildingcorp.com
Carolina Retirement Planners     910-815-3100              info@carolinarp.com            www.carolinaretirementplanners.com
Ferguson Kitchen Appliances      910-343-0334          wilmington2717.showroom@ferguson.com       www.shop.ferguson.com
Southeastern Tile                     910-799-5565              info@setileconnection.com                www.setileconnection.com
The Ivy Cottage                        910-815-0907              threecottages3@yahoo.com                 www.threecottages.com
Brandon Parrow Cabinetry         910-367-2121              brandonparrow545@gmail.com        
Hollingsworth Cabinetry            910-251-1490              dpreast@hollingsworthcabinetry.com    www.hollingsworthcabinetry.com
Network Realty                         910-772-1622              nre@networkwilmington.com            www.networkwilmington.com
Patricia Barrow, Artist `            910-769-0743               pixbarrow@gmail.com                        www.patriciabarrow.com
Cape Fear Spice Merchants        910-772-2980               cfspicemerchants@charter.net        
Bellamy Mansion Museum          910-251-3700               www.bellamymansion.org
Front Street Brewery                 910-251-1935               www.frontstreetbrewery.com
Caprice Bistro                          910-815-0810               www.capricebistro.com
Indochine                                 910-251-9229               www.indochinewilmington.com
Historic Wilmington Fdn.           910-762-2511                www.historicwilmington.org
Pinpoint                                   910-769-2972                www.pinpiontrestaurant.com
Apple Annie's                           910-799-9023                 www.appleanniesbakeshop.com
City Club                                 910-343-1880                  www.cityclubofwilmington.com
Pilot House                              910-343-0200                  www.pilothouserest.com
Finkelstein's                              910-763-7377                www.finkelsteins.com
Harris Teeter Stores                                                        www.harristeeter.com
For more information about the Back Door Kitchen Tour, click here  BDKT Page 
Sign Up For an Automatic Tour Reminder
You may also sign up for an automatic reminder as we get close to the tour date.  Click HERE to sign up to be on the BDKT emailing list.

~ 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.