Details Released of Six New Housing Projects That Will Create Approximately 340 New Neighborhood Residential Opportunities for Citizens

Posted on  01/04/2013 11:16 am

The City of Wilmington’s efforts to rebuild, strengthen and create City neighborhoods—an ongoing goal and an achievement of the twelve-year Baker Administration—was evident again today as Mayor James M. Baker, who leaves office on Monday, January 7, announced details of six new housing projects supported by the City. Mayor Baker said once completed, these projects will improve neighborhoods in the Eastside, Little Italy, Hilltop, Browntown and Riverfront communities by creating approximately 340 housing opportunities—homeownership and rental—for citizens to enjoy and in which to raise families.

“As I prepare to leave office, I am proud of our record of investing millions of dollars to leverage multiple millions of additional dollars in private investment over the past 12 years to improve City neighborhoods,” said Mayor Baker. “We have proven time and time again that City government can bring about change in our communities by offering citizens and their families wonderful opportunities to live in affordable, modern homes that help strengthen neighborhoods. Today’s announcements will usher in a new vitality to eastside areas of the City, add another residential component to the City’s popular riverfront, and strengthen the neighborhoods of Little Italy, Browntown and Hilltop. These projects represent the last six housing initiatives that our Administration has supported and helped to bring to fruition.”

The Mayor said construction of three of the projects is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2013 while construction is already underway on the other three projects.

The projects are:

  • The Lofts at Clifford Brown Walk—an 80-unit rental project to be built at the site of a former document storage facility at 14th Street and Clifford Brown Walk. The project is being developed by Chatham Bay Group LLC and will consist of one- and two-bedroom units with monthly rents ranging from $735 to $935. The City is supporting the $17 million project with $500,000 in gap financing in the form of a deferred loan.
  • Yet-Untitled Project on Walnut Street—a 44-unit rental project bounded by Walnut Street, 14th Street, 15th Street and Clifford Brown Walk and situated near the previously announced Lofts at Clifford Brown Walk. The site of the project is a vacant, formerly contaminated industrial parcel that has been environmentally remediated. It is being developed by Walnut Street Associates LLC, a subsidiary of the Michaels Development Company, which is also nearing completion of the Lincoln Towers/Wilmington Fire Station #5 project on DuPont Street in Trolley Square. The project will consist of 28 two-bedroom units and 16 three-bedroom units with monthly rents ranging from $312 to $875. The City is supporting this project with up to $500,000 for development costs in the form of a deferred loan. The Walnut Street rental project is the first phase of a larger housing initiative which will also encompass a parcel on the western side of Walnut Street that is expected to include up to18 single-family homes to be developed by two local non-profit agencies.
  • Christiana Square—located in the 200 block of South Market Street on the Wilmington Riverfront, this project is being developed by the Buccini Pollin Group. It will consist of from between 50 to 63 single-family homes and two, mid-rise apartment buildings with as many as 115 units. The home unit prices will start around $229,000, and the rental units will cost $1,200/month for a one-bedroom unit and $1,500/month for a two-bedroom unit. The City is supporting the $36 million project with a $625,000 forgivable loan to help fund water and sewer infrastructure for the site.

Mayor Baker said funding for these three projects comes from a variety of Federal funding sources as well as through the City’s Strategic Housing Fund which is administered by the City’s Department of Real Estate and Housing.

The other three housing projects are being managed by the Wilmington Housing Partnership.

They are:

  • The Third Street Project—four new townhomes under construction in the 1800 block of West 3rd Street, an area of Wilmington that borders the communities of Hilltop and Little Italy. The Wilmington Housing Partnership (WHP) acquired five lots in this block where a number of homes were destroyed in an explosion in July of 2003 as a gas line to one of the homes was being repaired. WHP subdivided the five parcels to build four single-family townhomes. The properties are part of WHP’s plan to help revitalize this area through a three-part program consisting of new construction, re-sale, and a façade improvement program for current property owners on this block. The general contractor for the project is MGK Construction. The City supported this project by originally purchasing the five lots for approximately $75,000 and then conveying the properties to the WHP for development. The townhomes are being offered at $134,900 and feature three bedrooms and 2 ½ baths. The project is currently 50% complete and is scheduled to be finished by the end of March 2013.
  • Zanthia’s Way—a 14-unit homeownership project in the 600 block of Vandever Avenue. WHP acquired the development site in August of 2011 from a previous developer. The WHP supports this project to help maintain stabilization efforts being achieved by the WHP and other non-profit partners in Wilmington’s Northeast communities. The WHP has already made significant improvements at this site which include fencing, sidewalks and brick lighting piers. The townhomes at Zanthia’s Way are being offered at $134,900. The 2,400 square feet properties offer three bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, a living room and dining room, a finished lower level, and a one-car garage. The project is scheduled to be completed in March of 2013. The City is providing $250,000 in gap financing to support this project.
  • Christina Overlook—a 33-unit homeownership project being built by Casale Construction in conjunction with the WHP in the 900 block of Duncan Street and the 1000 block of Coleman Street in the Browntown section of the City. The WHP purchased abandoned and blighted properties situated on several tracts of land in Browntown as part of this project and the City purchased several adjacent lots for a sum of $225,000 and then transferred the properties to the WHP in order for this project to proceed. These homes start at $169,900 and consist of three bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, a one-car garage and an outside deck.

Citizens interested in purchasing a home on Third Street or at Zanthia’s Way should call Lauren Hill with ReMax Realtors at (302) 379-1285 or visit the Wilmington Housing Partnership website at www.WilmingtonHousingPartnership.com.

Citizens interested in purchasing a home at Christina Overlook should call Ramonita Hernandez-Mohr, at the Sales Center for Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors at (302) 420-0443 or access www.ChristinaOverlook.com; www.facebook.com/ChristinaOverlook or Rhmohr@comcast.net