Historical $50 million residential redevelopment and stabilization plan for Wilmington

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The Administration and City Council say their shared goal is for ARPA funds to be deployed throughout the City to help resolve some of the City’s most pressing needs.

WILMINGTON (DE) BY DIGITAL STAFF: Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki today announced plans for an anticipated $50 million residential redevelopment and stabilization plan—the most ambitious housing and neighborhood plan in the City’s history.

In a news release from the city, the Mayor said “the effort will include investments in new construction, full rehabilitation of existing homes, façade, systems and roof improvements for current homeowners, and the demolition of dilapidated and vacant properties.
 
Mayor Purzycki said the first phase of neighborhood redevelopment—totaling approximately $30 million—will begin on the City’s historic east side in an area bounded by Walnut to Church Streets and from Fourth Street to 11th Street. The Mayor said the City is engaging with the community as it moves forward because it’s important to listen to concerns and heed advice regarding improving the quality of life.”

Eastside Corner

Photo Courtesy of City of Wilmington | Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki announced plans for an anticipated $50 million residential redevelopment and stabilization plan—the most ambitious housing and neighborhood plan in the City’s history.

In a partnership with Delmarva Power, the Eastside improvements will also include 290 new and brighter streetlights to improve public safety. While Purzycki and his Administration continues to believe that rebuilding neighborhoods can be equally effective in reducing violence, additional crime reduction strategies will be announced in the weeks ahead.
 
While the ambitious east side effort will require a tremendous amount of resources, unprecedented partnerships with key organizations such as the Wilmington Housing Authority, the Delaware State Housing Authority, the Central Baptist Community Development Corporation, the Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Woodlawn Trustees, the New Castle County Vo-Tech School District, and Delmarva Power will make it all possible. 

Eastside Corner

Photo Courtesy of City of Wilmington | Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki announced plans for an anticipated $50 million residential redevelopment and stabilization plan—the most ambitious housing and neighborhood plan in the City’s history.

But the East Side is not the only neighborhood to be revitalized. Purzycki expects a total of $50 million dollars to be invested citywide. The Mayor noted that the Administration and City Council have committed another $4 million to fund workforce development by providing skills training and employment internships as well as an additional $5 million community investment to assist nonprofits in restoring programming for individuals, children and families, and to launch community-based efforts to curb gun violence.

The total neighborhood appropriations announced today are the largest amount of funding ever committed by Wilmington to its neighborhoods and, more importantly, to the people who live in City neighborhoods., according to the city of Wilmington.
 
Purzycki said the east side neighborhood enhancements will be anchored by a new, state-funded, state-of-the-art Bancroft School with classes and programming for students in 1st through 8th grade, along with new athletic fields and after-hours programming. Governor Carney, the Mayor said, is to be commended for his commitment to education and to students, parents, teachers, and administrators.

Bennett Street

Photo Courtesy of City of Wilmington | Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki announced plans for an anticipated $50 million residential redevelopment and stabilization plan—the most ambitious housing and neighborhood plan in the City’s history.

Mayor Purzycki today offered specific details regarding the east side neighborhood plans: 

  • the City has an agreement with the Woodlawn Trustees to build 20 new houses and rehabilitate 60 homes currently owned by the Trustees.
  • the City has an agreement with Central Baptist CDC to fund completion of the rehabilitation of 10 houses on the east side.
  • the Wilmington Housing Authority has agreed to fully rehab 22 of their properties on the east side.
  • the City has an agreement with Habitat for Humanity to improve the exteriors of up to 100 properties owned by residents to include roofs, trim, windows, and doors at no cost to homeowners; Habitat also has agreed to build 20 new houses for home ownership along Bennett Street.
  • the Wilmington Land Bank and the City will improve 10 houses currently in inventory for sale for under market value, ensuring that homeowners will have immediate equity in their homes.
  • the City has already demolished 31 dilapidated houses and will demolish and rebuild 12 more houses that will be offered for sale at prices far under cost.
  • The City will engage the owners of the several hundred vacant properties to either improve or sell the properties so they can be converted to productive living units; the City will use every tool available to encourage positive decision making by landlord investors.
  • Holloway Park, an otherwise beautiful park with mature trees, unfortunately is plagued with illegal drug activity due in large measure to poor lighting. The City will erect new lighting throughout the park to ensure that this beautiful public place will be welcoming to our young people and seniors alike.
  • The City will ensure that minority contractors and City residents are hired to do the neighborhood work on the east side and throughout Wilmington.
  • To assist our youth with career opportunities, the City has signed a groundbreaking memorandum of understanding with the New Castle County Vocational Technical School District to teach the construction trades to 25 or more young people from local neighborhoods and pay them for on-the-job internships while they learn both in the classroom and the work site.
  • The City is sponsoring a unique drone and virtual reality (VR) school for 20 students who live in Wilmington. Drone classes started last weekend and VR classes will begin in March.
Bancroft School

Photo Courtesy of City of Wilmington | Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki announced plans for an anticipated $50 million residential redevelopment and stabilization plan—the most ambitious housing and neighborhood plan in the City’s history.

Wilmington is receiving $55.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds over a two-year budgeting period. The Administration and City Council say their shared goal is for ARPA funds to be deployed throughout the City to help resolve some of the City’s most pressing needs. These include neighborhood revitalization, reducing gun violence, improving education, increasing access to capital for budding entrepreneurs, training City residents for employment, and stabilizing the government’s financial condition.

 

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