Riverfront Wilmington Investment Paying Off with Jobs, Homes and Millions of Dollars in New Tax Revenues, Study Finds
(Wilmington, DE) June 20, 2012 — The public investment to redevelop Riverfront Wilmington is paying off for Delawareans, with businesses and residences at the Riverfront generating nearly $32 million annually in new tax revenues, according to a fiscal impact study conducted by the University of Delaware’s Center for Applied Demography and Survey Research. The City of Wilmington has already received back in new tax dollars more than twice the amount it invested in the Riverfront since 1996.
“The analysis presented in this report estimates that the investments in the Riverfront are paying off financially, both for the City of Wilmington and the State of Delaware,” said the University of Delaware’s Daniel T. Brown, Ph.D, who authored the report. “The city has long since recovered the public funds it invested, and the State of Delaware will likely do so quite soon.”
The annual tax dollars generated by the Riverfront have accelerated rapidly in the last several years as public investments leveraged an additional $716 million in private investments, resulting in major employers bringing thousands of new jobs to the Riverfront and more than 1,250 people moving into newly developed Christina Landing and Justison Landing, according to the study, which was commissioned by the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware (RDC).
“Riverfront Wilmington is now home to a thriving neighborhood and burgeoning employment center and is a cultural resource that will be visited by more than 750,000 people this year alone,” said Michael S. Purzycki, RDC Executive Director. “The State of Delaware, the City of Wilmington, New Castle County and others made unprecedented investments in the riverfront, and those investments are now generating unprecedented returns. Riverfront Wilmington is a true Delaware success story.”
Following are a few of the report’s findings:
- Total return of taxes and fees to the public from Riverfront activities exceeds $32 million annually.
- More than 4,250 people work at the Riverfront.
- The average salary of all employees at Riverfront businesses is $68,600.
- The average salary of new jobs added since 1996 is $107,000.
- There are 760 new dwelling units at Riverfront Wilmington, housing approximately 1,250 residents. The residents are generating nearly $4 million annually in combined city and state taxes.
- Through 2010, private investment on the Riverfront totaled $716 million.
- State bond bill appropriations have totaled $81 million since 1996 while state revenues from Riverfront activities have totaled $210 million during that time.
- The city of Wilmington has invested a total of $21million since 1996 while city revenues have been $46 million during the same period.
- Virtually every dollar expended by all governments on the Riverfront has been returned to the public. Through 2012, all public expenditures have totaled $292 million in nominal dollars while total public revenues have been $284 million.
- Setting aside public expenditures not intended to generate a financial return (such as the Delaware Children’s Museum, DuPont Environmental Center, parks and Riverwalk), gross public revenues ($308 million) have already exceeded total public investments by $29 million.
The report does not include the expected financial benefits of the newly announced Westin Hotel to be built next to the Chase Center or Penn Cinema, the multi-screen movie and IMAX complex on which builders broke ground last week.
To download the full report on the Fiscal Impact of Riverfront Wilmington, visit www.cadsr.udel.edu.
Tipton Communications (for RDC)