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Experience a Riverfront Revival

Original rendering of Riverfront Park in Wilmington, NC.

Our mission is to do the right thing for our clients, colleagues, and communities. It has been a particular joy to have the opportunity to so publically serve all three in the construction of Riverfront Park, Wilmington, NC’s newest public space.

On Friday, July 2nd at 3:00 p.m., we’re thrilled to be a part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony that opens Riverfront Park to the public. If you can’t make it, the Grand Opening Event on Sunday, July 4th from 1-8 PM will have music, stand-up comedy, kids activities, a beer garden, and more.

What makes this project such an event-worthy landmark for us, and for the Cape Fear region? Read on to find out.

Wilmington has long cherished its shoreline along the Cape Fear River, even winning the title of America’s Best Riverfront in 2015. However, its northern end declines out into a stagnant industrial site, dimming its natural beauty. Since 2018, Clancy & Theys, along with the entire project team, has worked to transform those 6.6 acres into Riverfront Park, a beautiful gathering place that anchors the fast-growing north side of downtown. With our partners, we’ve created a space that is functional, resilient, environmentally sound, visually appealing, and built to last.

This park is more than a pretty place to relax. The city of Wilmington wanted a gathering space that would be busy all week long. Clancy & Theys helped deliver an array of activities to keep the park humming in all seasons and all-weather. Its keystone attraction is a state-of-the-art 7,200 capacity amphitheater for live music, operated by Live Nation. Boardwalks and roads were extended to link the park to the city, and walking trails (including a promenade along the path of the historic train tracks), a splash plaza, and food and beverage facilities mean residents have reasons to keep coming back.

In a region with the weather as unpredictable as the Carolina coast, resilient design is critical. This need is amplified along shorelines. That’s why Riverfront was designed and built to the Waterfront Alliance’s Waterfront Edge Design Guideline standards—the first project to be verified outside of New York City. A soft, sculpted shoreline rises to the main body of the park perched safely above the river, while stormwater is cleverly absorbed or diverted through the site. The site made it through an initial test with flying colors in 2018 when Hurricane Florence battered the region.

Clancy & Theys worked with our partners to respect and enhance the natural environment of the Cape Fear Basin. We replaced the decaying riprap with a shoreline that extends the coastal ecology into the site. Brownfield soil was decontaminated and reused in the site’s structure. Native plantings and gardens have plenty of space to flourish, giving city-dwellers a taste of the surrounding ecosystem.

Finally, the park is built and fitted out with the best materials and highest caliber of technology. High-end brick, steel, and granite are paired with locally-harvested Southern cypress in the hardscapes. The amphitheater is equipped with a top-of-the-line fiber-optic video system, and an extensive artists’ wing to help attract the best musicians to Wilmington.

Riverfront Park is a new crown jewel for the Port City, a place worthy of special occasions that also makes everyday life better for its residents. We hope to see you there Friday, Sunday, or whenever life takes you to Wilmington.

Visit our project page to find out more information about Riverfront Park.