A guide to executive suites and office space to rent in Wilmington as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting offices in Wilmington.
History & Geography
Wilmington is the largest city in the US state of Delaware and is the commercial and cultural hub of the region. The city sits on the confluence of the Christina and Delaware rivers in the far north of the state. It is about 25 miles southwest of Philadelphia. Wilmington was settled by Swedish immigrants in 1638. They built Fort Christina which was the center of administration for the colony of New Sweden. In 1654 the Swedes captured the Dutch Fort Casimir, however in 1655 the Dutch captured all Swedish settlements in the area and ended Swedish rule. In 1664 the Dutch were in turn defeated by the British and all their settlements, including those in Delaware, fell under British rule. In 1739 a charter was granted naming the town Wilmington, after Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington. During the Revolutionary War there was a small battle near Wilmington and then the town was occupied by British forces until the end of the conflict. During the Civil War the population of the city grew dramatically and several industries developed in the town, including the manufacture of gunpowder, carriages and leather. Wilmington also became a large ship-building centre and by 1868 was the largest in the nation. During WWI and WWII the city continued to boom, with industries such as ship-building, steel manufacturing and chemical development thriving. After WWII Wilmington continued to grow and sizable suburbs were built on the outskirts of the city. During the 1960s Wilmington saw widespread rioting following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr and the National Guard was deployed. In the 1980s Wilmington saw massive job growth on the back of the presence of financial services companies moving to the city. Swathes of offices were also constructed for the banks and financial companies. Today Wilmington is one of the most important cities in the Delaware Valley Metropolitan area.
As the most accessible and populous city in the state of Delaware, Wilmington has a diversified and prosperous economy. Delaware has enacted business and commerce-friendly financial laws and has developed a reputation as a good location for the financial services industry and others. The city is currently the national hub of the credit card industry, thanks to the laws developed in the early 1980s by Governor Pierre S Dupont. Among the major credit card issuers headquartered in the state are Bank of America, Chase Card Services, Barclays Bank, ING Group, and HSBC. The city is also a major centre of the insurance industry and is home to Blue Cross, Blue Shield and American Life Insurance Company. Retail banking also has a strong presence in the city in Wilmington Trust, PNC Bank, Wachovia Bank, JP Morgan Chase and HSBC. Due to its lenient business laws the city functions as the corporate domicile of over half the publicly traded companies in the US. Another important institution in Wilmington is the Court of Chancery, which is an internationally renowned court of equity and specializes in cases concerning mergers and acquisitions.
Tourism & Culture
Wilmington is certainly not a major tourism destination, however it does have several points of interesting and a thriving culture all its own. Every spring and summer the city hosts a wide range of ethnic festivals every year such as the Italian Festival, the Greek Festival and the Polish Festival. Another popular event is the Big August Quarterly, celebrating African American religious freedom. Delaware is also famous for its annual music festivals, which draw thousands of visitors every year. Among the most popular of these is the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, a week-long festival held every summer. Equally popular is the People’s Festival, a tribute to reggae legend Bob Marley, who actually lived in Wilmington for a time. One of the most popular destinations in Wilmington is the city’s newly revamped riverfront. Located along the picturesque Christina River, the Wilmington Riverfront has been the subject of a revitalization campaign starting in the late 1990s, and now features a host of shops, restaurants and bars, as well as a new complex of luxury high rise apartments. For outdoor recreation residents of the city head to one of the four parks in the area run by the Delaware State Park System.
The closest passenger airport to Wilmington is Philadelphia International Airport, which is the third largest hub in the country. The city itself has a comprehensive bus service operated by the Delaware Authority for Regional Transit and consists of forty lines. The Joseph R. Biden Junior Wilmington Railway Station is served by Amtrak and has service to Boston, Washington and Philadelphia. Of late RideShare Delaware has proved popular, a programme offering car shares and car pooling to commuters in the city. Greyhound Bus also operate a service out of downtown Wilmington near the railway station.
Currently the average office vacancy rate for the greater Wilmington area stands at 21 percent, unchanged from one year ago. This is much higher than the national average which stands at approximately 12 percent. Wilmington has had a negative absorption rate several years running, last year by approximately 60,000 square feet. Class A rental rates in the CBD currently stand at USD 26 per square foot, running to USD 23 per square foot in the outlying suburbs. At the current leasing rate the city has a five year supply of office space, analysts have found. The largest portion of the leasing in the last year has been outside the CBD.