market street wilmington de

Transforming Wilmington One Façade at a Time-218 Grille, Residence Inn and 9th Mile Galleria Receive Grants

218 Grille

Within the Wilmington Downtown Business Improvement District, a block-by-block inventory done by Downtown Visions in 2009 showed that 78% of the buildings would benefit from improved façade treatments. Today, over 66 buildings have been improved, most recently 218 Grille, Residence Inn and the 9th Mile Galleria. 




A walk down Market Street proves that the program has been incredibly successful in the restoration of the once hidden and neglected historic character. Market Street now provides visitors and residents with a charming and welcoming atmosphere thanks to restored buildings and storefronts through Downtown Visions'  Façade Improvement Program and Main Street Program. Downtown Visions staff oversee each individual exterior improvement project from beginning to end as well as provide grants on a matching basis up to $25,000 per façade improvement. For more information on the program and how it could benefit your business or entrepreneurial venture, click here. 




1300 market street
9 mile galleria

The Downtown Farmer's Market 2018 Vendor Application is Available

Downtown Wilmington DE Farmers market

Last year's Farmer's Market was the biggest year yet with the most attendance, award-winning food trucks, live entertainment, produce stands, vendors and even veggie giveaways!

Be sure to reserve your spot for this year's activities as well! The vendor application is now available online.

Follow all of the Farmer's Market fun on Facebook!

Making Market Street Beautiful & Welcoming Again: Downtown Visions Security Gate Removal Program

721 N. Market Street receives a face lift and has their security gate removed thanks to Downtown Vision's Main Street Wilmington program. 

721 N. Market Street receives a face lift and has their security gate removed thanks to Downtown Vision's Main Street Wilmington program. 

One of the first things you notice when you pull onto Market Street for the first time are the gorgeous, colorful historical buildings. What you may not know, is that at one time these beautiful storefronts were somewhat hidden by unsightly security gates. Thanks to Downtown Visions and their Main Street Wilmington Program, many of the gates have been removed.

The goal of removing the security gates was to not only improve the overall atmosphere of Market Street, but to also encourage growth and redevelopment. Perception is critical and new businesses and residents feel much more welcome in an area without security gates. 

Wilmington is not the only city taking down the gates, in 2009, New York City Council voted to ban the kind of security gates that completely shield commercial storefront windows and doors from view — ones that resemble old-fashioned auto garage doors. Removal of solid gates are also a safety precaution, officers and firefighters now have the ability to look inside in an emergency.

Downtown Visions is proud to be paving the way in Wilmington, completely funding the removal project. Security gate removal grants are paid for 100% by Downtown Visions under the Main Street Wilmington program to improve the property value and appearance of each approved applicants. Thus far, Downtown Visions is proud to have removed  27 security gates. 

Lani Schweiger, Main Street Wilmington Project & Communication Coordinator explained, "The original external security gates were very dated.  By removing them it makes the Downtown area look better aesthetically and allows potential customers to view window displays after hours."

701 N. Market Street Wilmington, DE

701 N. Market Street Wilmington, DE

723 N. Market Street Wilmington, DE

723 N. Market Street Wilmington, DE

Post by Julia Mason of Enthusiasm Lab

Feeding Minds, Bodies and Souls…Getting Deep with Jason Aviles of The Wilmington Green Box

Wilmington Green Box

Jason Aviles doesn't stop. From the Bronx, New York, he takes the word "entrepreneur" to an entire new level. From creating his own interdisciplinary Bachelors Degree in Youth Development & Social Change to running four businesses, he has some useful and touching advice for us all.

Learn more on how he went from a revamped Victorian push cart to revolutionizing healthy eating and nutrition in the City of Wilmington at 420 N Market Street at Wilmington Green Box.

Wilmington Green Box was made possible by funding from The Buccini/Pollin Group as well as funding and business development assistance from Main Street Wilmington. Inspired to start a business in Wilmington like Jason?  There are a variety of complimentary services Downtown Visions has to get you started. Click here to learn more.

Q. Where did the idea for the green box stem from?

A. “Born out of a void that we saw in the central Wilmington community of there not being access to healthy goods and produce. While looking for creative ways to fill this void, we wanted to develop a model that was a win, win, win. We wanted to do more…a creative strategy to help other challenged areas, such as youth education and employment. We felt like the local youth needed positive outlets that gave them not only experience but also employed them so they could contribute to their household income. We targeted inner city kids who could really benefit from the program. So the concept is influential in four areas, food access,  youth employment, education and purchasing local. We wanted to strengthen the local small business community economy.”

Wilmington Green Box Emmanuel

Q. How have you seen the box change the lives of individuals working for the company as well as customers?

A. “It has been transformational, Emmanuel is our poster child. He took Wilmington Green Box to a whole new level with his charisma, enthusiasm and willingness to learn. It has been a transformation for him to be with positive older male and female role models and interacting with customers on a daily basis helps build his social skills.

For our customers, we are not just selling a product. Our customers aren’t just buying a food, they are buying into a mission and an organization that really cares for the community and is giving directly back to the community. You feel good supporting youth, youth education and local food companies.”

Q. How has the Wilmington Green Box evolved since you just started out?

A. “We first started with a 1940’s ice box from a Victorian home. We put wheels on it, packed it with healthy goods and that’s how we started out. We didn’t have a storefront or space. We just brought the goods directly to people. It was a perfect introduction, we were able to get in front of so many individuals. Some didn’t know a carrot could make juice. We were educating people on how to be healthy. We also were able to educate our team on product knowledge. After a successful summer doing it that way;we saw we had a demand and we wanted to fulfill it in a consistent way. That’s how the location we are at now was born. The location on Market was designed to provide a place people could come to a consistent basis and activate a space that had not been utilized. We wanted to provide an additional green space and complimentary Wifi to the public. We looked at it as a solution for those we could serve and for us. We built the space and kiosk as an experience.”

Wilmington Green Box greenspace wilmington de

Q. What do you see for the future of the green box?

A. “The future, I see us moving into an indoor location where we can have collaboration with a smoothie bar, café, and co-op style grocery store that can serve bulk health food that continues to serve local and bi-local markets. That is the direction we are going into.”

juiced libations wilmington green box

Q. What is your favorite food or drink served at the Green Box?

A. “It’s a tie…I would say, the fruit salads….they are really fresh and awesome from Sol Fruit, a great local organization. Alkaline state of mind from Juiced Libations is another favorite. It is a green juice that gets me going. I often end up eating a fruit salad and drinking one of those on busy days.”

Q. What are some of the challenges you have faced so far?

A. “A challenge is the education portion. Creating a culture and mindset of wellness. It hasn’t been on the forefront of initiatives. Locals aren’t aware of how to live a greater, quality life through nutrition. Exposing people on how to become healthy can be a challenge. We are motivated by it though, so it is not so much a challenge as it is an opportunity. This is the first concept of its kind here. We have seen incredible progress of people learning because of what we offer.”

Q. You wear a lot of hats, Project Director at Wilmington Green Box, Executive Director at Wilmington Placemakers Inc., Co-founder at Artist Ave Station and CEO at FLYOGI. How do you keep it all together and organized?

A. “At the foundation of everything I do is yoga. I was taught yoga is a lifestyle... how you treat others, yourself, nutrition. Everything I do is a part of my practice. The businesses I engage in are an extension of myself. Looking at the voids that exist and trying to fulfill them. I’m not doing it alone, it is a team of us. I have a wonderful team, John Naughton , James Thompson and Emmanuel are equally contributing. When I’m stressed out, I lean on them. We all lean on each other. Our team is on the same page.”

Q. How are you able to remain so Zen? Is it all that yoga?

A. “Yes. Everything really is a practice. It is a constant growing process.”

Q. What is your favorite aspect of the City of Wilmington?

A. “My favorite aspect is the growth that is happening. Wilmington is a growing place. It is in that threshold and it is exciting to be a part of. It is good to know not everything has happened yet. Those are our opportunities to fill those gaps. That is why I chose Wilmington. I wanted to contribute to that.”

Q. What advice would you give to entrepreneur wanting to start a business in downtown Wilmington?

A. “I would say, know what you want and know who wants it. Downtown Wilmington is a market that is used to doing what it is used to doing. You have to know the market and who you want to serve. You have to be consistent and offer high quality products and services. Make sure you know how to market. You are going to have to spend a lot of time marketing. Everyone here is a creature of habit. Introducing new things, you have to have creative ways to put it in front of them.”

Learn more about The Wilmington Green Box

Follow The Green Box on Facebook and Instagram

Post by Julia Mason of Enthusiasm Lab

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