Wilmington, NC – Few visitors to Shallotte probably noticed the town's waterfront; the mostly undeveloped land is currently hidden behind the commercial strip of Highway 17.
Now town boosters want to bring the area to center stage - by developing it into a pedestrian-friendly, ecologically sensitive neighborhood.
"We think it's a great opportunity to develop this in a way that brings out all the beauty of the waterfront and makes it accessible to all of the citizens of Shallotte," said Walt Eccard of the Downtown Shallotte organization.
Eccard explained that while the plan is currently a blank slate, he expects the process to include a sensitivity to the waterfront's environmental concerns, a focus on increasing pedestrian and automobile links with the rest of Shallotte, and a great deal of public input.
"Part of the vision plan process, Eccard said, "is a heavy emphasis of defining the waterfront potential through the eyes of the citizens, the landowners, and the business owners of Shallotte."
RFPs from groups interested in leading the planning project are due by August 15. The winning bidders have six months to develop the plan.