Rebuilding a Wilmington neighborhood
Thursday, November 12th, 2009
After more than a decade of work and $30 million of investment officials in Wilmington celebrated the work of Cornerstone West. Since it's inception in 1999 the partnership between West End Neighborhood House, St. Francis Hospital, and the community has created 338 affordable housing opportunities in and around the city's West Side. In the last 10 years, Cornerstone West has renovated and sold 80 homes, 83 mixed-income rental units, and improved more than 90 homes and facades.
"Delaware is a state of neighbors, and when we figure out how to work together, we get stuff done," said Governor Jack Markell (D). The state contributed to the redevelopment effort through the Department of Natural Resources, which paid to help clean up some brownfields at the site.
One of the latest additions and improvements to the area is the the newly renovated 72-unit Clayton Court Apartments at the corner of 6th and N. DuPont Street. Construction is just about to begin on some new town homes just across the street from apartment complex. Other plans include an additional 30 new homes in the area within the next two years.
Wilmington Mayor James Baker (D) credited Cornerstone West and all it's partners with taking the necessary action to save the neighborhood, not by waiting for the police to move the "bad guys" out, but by rebuilding. "You really have to change the nature of that neighborhood, those neighborhoods, you have to change the housing stock, you have to change some of the people, and if you do that, you can restore the City of Wilmington or any city in the country can be restored."