Two community needs—affordable seniors housing and a fire station—are answered by Lincoln Towers.

The innovative development brings together both uses in one building.

Lincoln Towers replaces an obsolete public housing high-rise in Wilmington, Del. Located next to restaurants and parks, the site is one of the best in the Trolley Square neighborhood, and it was important for the Wilmington Housing Authority to retain the prime spot for affordable housing.

At the same time, the city needed to replace an old fire station that had been in continuous operation since the 1800s.

“They believed there was a way to merge the needs for affordable housing and a fire station,” says Milton Pratt Jr., senior vice president at Michaels Development Co., the project’s private-sector partner.

Lincoln Towers features 88 one- and two-bedroom apartments for low-income seniors ages 62 and older. There’s a mix of public housing and Sec. 8 units. The fire station is staffed by 16 firefighters and four battalion chiefs.

To develop the unique project, the team addressed several challenges, including sound and traffic flow.

Amenities include underground parking, a fitness center, a computer lab, and community space for supportive and social services.

The $27.5 million development was funded with 4 percent low-income housing tax credits and tax-exempt bonds. Lincoln Towers also used $10 million in “green grant” money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funds. The city contributed $3.5 million to finance the fire station.