(Photo: Google Earth screenshot)
The stretch of Northeast Boulevard in the Riverside neighborhood on the north side of Wilmington is not generally considered prime business real estate.
Abandoned warehouses and factories are interspersed with gas stations, car lots and a Popeye’s Chicken. Nothing hurts the area’s potential for economic development more than its reputation as dangerous, though Compstat reports generally don’t back that up.
In 2010, Simon Cranny, the founder of Wilmington’s Precision Color Graphics, decided to renovate an abandoned factory in Riverside near Northeast Boulevard and call it the company’s home. Since then, he’s learned a lot about thriving in areas of the city deemed by many to be dangerous, as one of dozens of companies that have chosen to open businesses in the “forgotten” industrial area.
Cranny will be the featured speaker at this month’s Wilmington Historical Society Happy Hour event on September 25 at the Chelsea Tavern on Market Street in Wilmington. During the 30 minute talk and discussion, he will focus on lessons his company has learned, job creation, thriving in under-developed areas of the city, and the process of renovating a former industrial property.
The event is free. A pre-talk happy hour starts at 6 p.m., with the discussion starting at 6:30.-30-
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