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More diverse Live Nation acts? Plus, a $68-million deal for new city offices

Port City Politics wide

This week on Port City Politics we're taking a look at two stories coming out of the Downtown area. First, we talk about the Live Oak Bank Pavilion at Riverfront Park and the types of shows coming to the Port City. Then we run down the city's consideration of purchasing the Thermo Fisher building (formerly PPD headquarters) — the tallest building in the city.

After talking with people involved in entrainment as well as city government there's a consensus that Live Nation shows coming into town are not catering to everyone's musical tastes. While it's obviously not possible to book every band people want to see, indie rock and country music made up the bulk of the shows we've seen play here so far. Now people are asking what can be done to bring in more variety that will appeal to more people — keeping entertainment dollars in Wilmington instead of making people drive to Raleigh and Charlotte just to see a rock or hip hop act play.

The Thermo Fisher building has been on the market since last spring and the City of Wilmington is now considering buying it. The building could serve as a consolidated city office and would cost nearly $68 million. This proposal is still in its infancy but could have some big impacts on the city — and there are questions, including what would happen to the current city-owned properties, and whether the city really give up their real estate on North Third Street.

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Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature. He loves spending time with his wife and playing rock'n'roll very loudly. You can reach him at BSchachtman@whqr.org and find him on Twitter @Ben_Schachtman.