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Wilmington, NC Community Info

Welcome to one of America’s “Top Ten Cities” to invest in real estate and live! A diverse and beautiful import/export city nestled between the white sandy beaches of the Atlantic Ocean and the infamous Cape Fear River, Wilmington boasts one of the state's largest historic districts with blocks of preserved historical homes and a downtown business district, which has undergone a renaissance transformation with an active arts community and cultural scene. Although Wilmington is the largest city in southeastern North Carolina, it has a small town atmosphere with lots of southern hospitably and beauty with its streets lined with natural live oak trees covered with spanish moss.

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Business and Educational Opportunities

Wilmington North Carolina has been referred to as “The New South” for attracting business giants like General Electric, G. E. Nuclear Division, DuPont, and Corning, as well as smaller high-tech firms such as AAI and Pharmaceutical Product Development. In 2003, the city was designated by the US Congress, as "A Coast Guard City".

The city is home port for the USCGC Diligence. One of Wilmington’s best known treasures is The University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW). UNCW's Marine Science Program, ranked fifth in the world, is at the forefront of teaching. The Cape Fear Community College (CFCC), located downtown is an award winning learning institution offering state of the art training in a multitude of career paths.

Hollywood East

History, beautiful surroundings and tax incentives have been a huge draw for the film industry to the city, dubbed “Hollywood East”. Wilmington is the home of EUE Screen Gems Studios, the largest domestic television and movie production facility outside of California. "Dream Stage 10," the facility's newest sound stage, is the third-largest in the US. It houses the largest special-effects water tank in North America. Hundreds of films, documentaries, and television series have been filmed here. And each fall brings film buffs and critics to the annual Cucalorus Film Festival.

Wilmington Tourism

Wilmington draws a large number of tourists year round. Horse-drawn carriages offer tours down Wilmington’s old brick streets. Trolley tours and riverboats cruise along the Cape Fear River; a once thriving port with markets, warehouses and the world's largest cotton exchange. The World War II battleship, USS North Carolina draws visitors young and old. The infamous Henrietta offers river tours and dinner cruises.

The midnight ghost tours, hands-on exhibits at the Wilmington Children's Museum, The Serpentarium Museum are just some of the popular tourist attractions as well as The Bellamy Mansion, a lavish, four-story, 22-room historic house museum. Historic Thalian Hall attracts internationally acclaimed musicians, actors and dancers.

Wilmington proudly hosts the annual Azalea Festival in April and River Fest in October. The Cameron Art Museum's collections inspire art lovers, and the ever popular Airlie Gardens has acres of azaleas, camellias, hibiscus, live oaks, freshwater lakes and a variety of activities and events for nature lovers throughout the year.

Wilmington History

Wilmington, also known as the Port City, was named for Spencer Compton, the Earl of Wilmington, who was Prime Minister under George II. Incorporated in 1739, Wilmington became a city in 1866. The rich lumber and naval stores of the pine trees in the area provided the necessary fuel for economic growth from the American Revolution through the Civil War.

Wilmington was strategic to the Confederate effort serving as a major port for supplies. With the fall of Norfolk, Virginia in the year 1862, Wilmington became main port for the Confederacy. In 1865 the port was captured by Union forces in the Battle of Wilmington.

In 1840 it was the largest town in the state and remained so through the early 1900s, thanks to the thriving ports along the Cape Fear River and the arrival of the Wilmington & Raleigh Railroad (renamed the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad in 1854). When the railroad was completed in 1840, it was the largest continuous railroad track in the world.

During World War II, Wilmington was the home of the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company which created 243 ships for the war effort. The city also was the site of three prisoner-of-war (POW) camps from 1944 through 1946.

The State Port Authority was approved in 1945 and ever since then has remained a major factor in the region’s economy. The Port City is the home to the WWII Battleship USS North Carolina (BB-55) and was the site of the commissioning of the Virginia Class USS North Carolina (777) submarine in May 2008 and the missile-guided destroyer USS Gravely in November 2010.

Interesting Stats

  • Land area: 51.4 sq. mi.
  • Water area: 1.51 sq. mi.
  • Population density: 2495 people per square mile (med).
  • Estimate of real estate property taxes paid for housing units in 2009: $1684

Means of Transportation to Work:

  • Car, Truck, Van to Work: 40,173 91.50%
  • Other Transportation to Work: 1,551 3.53%
  • Work at Home: 1,633 3.72%

Travel Time to Work

  • Less than 15 Min: 16,335 38.64%
  • 15-29 Min: 18,406 43.54%
  • 30-59 Min: 5,574 13.19%
  • 60+ Min: 1,956 4.63%
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