A press conference was held Wednesday for the redevelopment of a popular retail and office location on the 2000 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in Wilmington.
Wilmington Mayor Dennis P. Williams joined Michael Hoffman, attorney for Tsionas Properties, LLC in announcing the $40 million redevelopment project.
The project, according to a release from the city would “revitalize the 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue property. The project looks to redevelop the property into an attractive, high-quality mixed-use and pedestrian oriented space that incorporates luxury residences above the first floor of quality retail and commercial businesses that aim to serve the needs of both on-site and nearby residents.”
The release went on to state that “modernization of the property and infusion of on-site residents and new commercial spaces look to bring new energy to the area, and also complements the recent and ongoing revitalization of the Union Street Corridor.”
Tsionas Properties has been active on Newark’s Main Street and adjacent areas with mixed-use projects that combine student housing, with retail space.
Hoffman is a member of a law firm that has been active in representing developers and their projects in northern Delaware.
The current building is best known as the home of Stuart Kingston, an 80-year-old jewelry, and luxury items store that is also involved in auctions. The business suffered damage last year when a water pipe broke in the building during subfreezing weather.
Other tenants include the Santa Fe, Wilmington, Michael Christopher Salon, a fitness center and yoga studio.
Wilmington has seen an upsurge in residential development largely from apartments in the downtown area, althoughYounger professional people, who are less inclined to drive cars or do so sparingly are looking at walkable communities.
The 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue area is also near the popular Trolley Square neighborhood.
As the press release noted, efforts are being made to revitalize the Union and Lincoln Street (Little Italy) neighborhood, which remains the home of many restaurants that are within walking distance of the Pennsylvania Avenue location.
The area is also near Wilmington’s auto row, which, unlike many urban auto malls, managed to survive the troubles of the industry in 2008 and 2009, due in large part to the commitment of the Union Park and Auto Team group of dealerships.
“We look to continue the growth, development and revitalization across the entire City of Wilmington,” said Williams. “Creating more modern and creative housing opportunities, such as this Pennsylvania Avenue redevelopment project, will not only attract new residents to the City of Wilmington but also serve as a catalyst for other economic initiatives. I thank Tsionas Properties for their vote of confidence in Wilmington, as this development project will allow for greater walkability for residents on-site and in the surrounding neighborhoods.”
Prospective amenities located on the first floor of the building would include a restaurant, café, service-oriented businesses, and specialty retail.
“The redevelopment and revitalization of 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, as envisioned by the Tsionas family, will have a tremendous positive impact on the surrounding area and the City of Wilmington,” said Hoffman. “As the project advances, it will set the tone for additional redevelopment projects that will, one-by-one, bring vibrancy to the area and dramatically improve the Union Street Corridor.”
Developers see a 20 month construction period, after all, necessary approvals are secured.