Main Street Waterfront Redevelopment

Master Plan

Town of Aurora, NC


The Town of Aurora is a small rural community located is coastal North Carolina.  Although a major international phosphate mining operation has been located adjacent to the Town for decades, the community has not achieved economic development benefits as a result.  Believing that its future lies in the natural resources provided by the adjoining deep-water South Creek and the nearby Pamlico River and Pamlico Sound, the Town engaged Rivers through a grant program with East Carolina University to conduct a redevelopment master plan for the community waterfront.  The plan molds community visioning and conceptualization for redevelopment of a 30-acre waterfront property and the adjacent downtown area based upon opportunities for passive recreation, service-oriented retail, ecotourism and water use-related facilities.  In addition to land use inventory assessment, public engagement and environmental permitting reconnaissance, a limited market analysis was performed to ascertain viability of potential opportunities.  The redevelopment plan includes a boutique-scale hotel, food service facility, retail amenities, expansion of public boat ramps, day dockage, waterside park, passive ecotourism trails, “great lawn” public spaces, canoe/kayak launch facilities, streetscapes, off-street pedestrian connectivity and deep-water marina redevelopment.