Developers have closed on the financing for the first phase of an ambitious redevelopment project that will bring new housing opportunities to Wilmington, Delaware.
Pennrose, REACH Riverside, and the Wilmington Housing Authority (WHA) will build 74 one- to four-bedroom townhouses in phase one of the Riverside Redevelopment, a community-led master planned redevelopment of Northeast Wilmington’s Riverside neighborhood. Fifty-nine units will be affordable to residents earning up to 60% of the area median income, and 15 workforce units will be available.
Designed on the principles of Purpose Built Communities, construction on the first of eight phases is slated to begin immediately and deliver all units within 18 months, according to developers.
Of the total units, 12 will be fully ADA accessible, and eight will be designed for residents with special needs. Residents will have access to a community room, on-site management and maintenance offices, and a common green space with a raised garden, a gazebo, and a tot lot. All units will be Zero Energy Ready, a Department of Energy program.
“This is truly a monumental and long overdue moment for the Riverside neighborhood and the entire city of Wilmington,” said Logan Herring, CEO OF REACH Riverside. “As a lifelong resident of the city, I emphatically understand the positive impact that quality housing, a safe neighborhood, and access to resources has on the trajectory of a family’s health and quality of life. The holistic approach we are taking with all of our partners and funders, including the city, county, and state, will soon make the vision of a community where everyone thrives a reality.”
Once complete, the entire Riverside redevelopment will include 600 high-quality, mixed-income rental and for-sale homes and a new Kingswood Community Center, including an Early Learning Academy as the foundation of a “cradle to college/career” education pipeline to serve the community. The center will continue to provide vital educational, health, wellness, and social resources to the surrounding neighborhood. The housing development is located on land owned by the WHA that once contained 530 units of public housing, but 230 units were demolished during the last decade.
As the 19th affiliate member of the Purpose Built Communities network, a nationally renowned organization dedicated to holistic community redevelopment, REACH Riverside will focus on the three pillars of revitalization shown to have the greatest impact on long-term community health and well-being—mixed-income housing redevelopment, education, and community health.
“This has been quite a journey, and WHA is pleased that this time our promise to provide affordable new housing is finally coming to fruition,” said Thomas Harkless, WHA executive director. “Our residents deserve improved housing conditions and enhanced quality of life”
Ryan Bailey, senior developer at Pennrose, added: “Closing on the financing and beginning construction is a significant milestone. Phase one lays the groundwork for this multifaceted initiative led by WHA and REACH Riverside. We look forward to transforming the Riverside neighborhood into a vibrant community that improves lives.”
The $21 million first phase is financed through an allocation of low-income housing tax credits from the Delaware State Housing Authority, which also contributed construction and permanent debt. The tax credits are being purchased by Cinnaire, which also provided permanent financing. WHA, REACH Riverside, the city of Wilmington, the county of New Castle, and M&T Bank also provided critical financing.