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5 Big New Ideas We Heard at WRC’s 25th Anniversary Meeting

7:30 a.m., May 16, 2018

The Queen

This morning, Wilmington Renaissance Corporation’s breakfast meeting was so full of familiar NewMarketWilm faces, it’s a shock that you couldn’t see the building moving and shaking from the outside. Every year, we drag our butts out of bed for this event because we know we’ll hear about something that’s about to reshape our world on Market. And so we did. Below, a few things that made our ears perk up – plus one poem that, as far as we know, is the first time #NewMarketWilm has appeared in any work of poetry. (Feel free to send in your NMW poems and prove us wrong.)

Big New Idea #1: There’s a big push to recruit new shops to come to Market.

Carrie W. Gray, managing director of the WRC: “Last year, JP Morgan Chase asked if they could expand upon the investment they had already made in our NewMarketWilm campaign [Editor’s note: Yep, full disclosure, that’s us] by launching a retail marketing and attraction program downtown. … We’ve engaged an expert in downtown retail corridor development, Catherine Timko of The Riddle Company, and she’s providing the marking strategy for expanding Wilmington's retail, dining and entertainment offerings. The launch of the recruitment effort is about to start.”

Big New Idea #2: Delaware Law School might be coming to Wilmington

Mayor Mike Purzycki: “I don't want to pre-empt anything, but listen, the dean stood up in front of the whole student body – at a group I was speaking to – and the dean said 'We want to be there. ... We want to be on the Wilmington Riverfront.' So that's really exciting, if we can get that done.”

Big New Idea #3: A major branding campaign is coming soon. Very, very soon.

Mayor Mike Purzycki: “We are working with the private sector to roll out a whole new branding and marketing push, to reimagine our city, redefine who we are and change our narrative. … We are going to push a message out in the most sophisticated ways and basically tell the universe that this is a fantastic city and you have to start thinking about us differently.”

Big New Idea #4: New LED lights will soon illuminate a new Wilm

Mayor Mike Purzycki: “We're basically going to repower our city. We've been talking to Delmarva about LED lighting for the entire city, smart lighting. There's no reason we shouldn't do this. It saves us money. It's time to join the 21st century.”

Big New Idea #5: Yup, he said it – the mayor knows that City Hall customer service needs work, and he’s working on it

Mayor Mike Purzycki: “I'm going to tell you what we do badly in the city. We may have the worst customer service. We're just not very good at this. We have to get way better than this. And we're hiring new people. We're got a new system to cover the thousands of calls we get and get them to the right departments. I take responsibility. But I promise you, we're going to be the best when this is all over.”

And before we go…

Christian Wills might be our favorite Market poet, and not just because of the shout out below. WRC commissioned a poem from him to commemorate the organization’s 25th anniversary, and he premiered it this morning. We only regret that we can’t do justice to the sound and rhythm of his voice by simply reprinting it here:

Big Ideas to Life We heroic band of few Stand and look to attention of the work that’s done Some may call trivial in design At times I felt the same No direction to stumble in Caved into my mindset was the concept of being lost Lost from imagination Until the ropes of creativity caught me Carrying me on a vessel unlike any other Vast possibilities from a collective mind Painted on a picture that reflects the city In times of dark, desolate days Hope is brought to a people in need Change is formed and created anew Death to an old way of living As We Bring Big Ideas to Life We heroic band of few Our work is not yet over As we breathe in the heart of the city Beat the drum that encircles us all With a mural that encompasses beauty Be the light, spread the love Establish the divine mind that’s city wide, lights the night sky Nourish and sustain the spirit in its many talents No matter how Creative the District gets We'll keep our heads to the sky Arms spread to the people of Wilmington Support a message that screams live, play, and prosper No longer in a state of decline, forever inclined On an engagement that takes shape In a city that gives birth to newfound truth As We Bring Big Ideas to Life Oh we heroic band of few Humbled yet proud of the success in motion Twenty five years of dedicated service I can break them down and list them all As I, meet you two-way on Market street Let me, show you all the art and design Of my, redeveloped 2nd and Loma And give, four years of public art To you, while I show you the Bid Show it all off, rocking your whole lot with a whole lotta Planned and proposed projects that seem panoramic Never panic as I campaign with #newmarketwilm Turning neighborhoods from vacant to vibrant Be it at Quaker Hill, we got a prophesy to fulfill Continue this great revolution As We Bring Big Ideas to Life Oh we heroic band of few Tell it to the world without fail See that the NextFab is not the next fad but is the next jab at Starting the next path of creators Making, living, working Innovating in new spaces and great places Game changers that set the bar high Enhancing the city's reputation Setting a community geared to revitalization Engagement that doesn't leave fear on the pavement Or feelings a bit adjacent But sails on a wave of creation Never letting our people become complacent Lift up and rise like the buildings And look down to see it all As We Bring Big Ideas to Life Oh we...we heroic band of few Remember your heart of gold Look to the stars and be proud As your reward comes through Inside the souls of many Treasure those that you meet For your blessings come down Reaching loved ones of all kinds Supporting this heaven all around us Standing firm in the belief for better peace Even so, despair was the feeling that crept At times I felt the same Until I looked at the change I faced And saw the love that spreads through the city As We Bring Big Ideas to Life

Watch WRC'S 25 Year recap video featuring accomplishments that have brought BIG IDEAS to Wilmington's Downtown:

#NewMarketWilm #WilmingtonRenaissanceCorporation #ShinealightonTheQueen #MayorMikePurzycki #MayorofWilmington #WilmingtonDelaware #MarketStreetWilmington #ChristianWills #experience #ExperienceNewMarket


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