A new neighborhood stabilization and homeownership project has been announced by the City, Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank (WNCLB) and developer partner, National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC).
The initiative will help to transform one block of 9th Street between Adams and Monroe streets.
“The Land Bank is facilitating the rehabilitation of vacant and abandoned properties, which came from the City and WNCLB vacant property portfolios, and is combining that with new construction to create a refurbished City block that will be stabilized by new homeowners,” said Mayor Mike Purzycki. “I offer my thanks and appreciation to the Land Bank Board, which includes among others, Council President Hanifa Shabazz as a member and leader, and to the NCRC for bringing new life to the city’s housing stock. Through additional support from JP Morgan Chase and the Delaware State Housing Authority, families will soon have an opportunity to become homeowners who are invested in Wilmington’s future. This project is possible because we all share a similar vision for a revitalized city.”
According to Land Bank Board Chair Rick Gessner and Executive Director Bill Freeborn, funding for the 9th Street Neighborhood Revitalization Project is being provided through a grant from JP Morgan Chase, support from the DSHA Strong Neighborhoods Fund and through construction financing and funding from the NCRC Housing Rehab Fund.
The renovation of five vacant properties on the south side and one on the north side of the 800 block of 9th Street, known as Phase One of the project, is beginning immediately and is expected to be completed by March 2020. The properties will be made available for purchase by individuals who will agree to live in the properties for at least five years before the property can be sold. Plans for Phase 2 of the project—the construction of three townhomes on the north side of the 800 block of 9th street— is projected to begin in early 2020.
The total development costs for the six renovations and three new townhomes will exceed $2 million. The homes will be available to buyers at prices set at 80 percent of Wilmington’s Average Median Income (AMI), a number calculated annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Without the financial support of the Land Bank’s developer partners, the revitalization of this neighborhood would not be possible,” said WNCLB Board Chair Rick Gessner. “Our team is confident that the success of this project will spur additional, quality housing development throughout the City of Wilmington.
Recently appointed WNCLB Executive Director, Bill Freeborn said the announcement is just one in a series of developments that will be made public in the months ahead. “The Land Bank is focused on action by facilitating the development process; bringing properties, money and people together to make a difference in Wilmington’s neighborhoods,” said Freeborn.
He said properties included in Phase 1 are 820, 812, 810, 808 West Ninth Street, along with the pending acquisition of 818 and 819 West Ninth Street. Freeborn said properties included in Phase 2 are 825, 823 and 821 West Ninth Street. In addition to the above program Freeborn stated that the Wilmington Housing Authority is restoring a property it owns at 515 West Ninth Street.