Michael P. Kelly, chairman of McCarter & English and a fourth-generation Wilmingtonian, said attorneys expect to work downtown. “Walking down Market Street at lunchtime is just part of the package,” he said. “There’s a sense of community here.”
“I’m just crushed by what’s happening to jobs in the city, and we all know about the high crime rate. I know our mayor and county executive and our governor are doing all they can,” Kelly said. “You look back on the good things of 20, 30 years ago. You had all these restaurants. You had movie theaters. You had Wilmington Dry Goods. You had Kennard’s. You had Mullins. You had food markets.”
Some developers’ plans for the future look a lot like Kelly’s memory of ’80s Wilmington — shops, apartments, theaters, office towers brimming with tenants and new components like charter schools and collaborative spaces.