Changes coming to Wilmington’s Market Street [video]

 Old WSFS building located at 838 Market Street is one of three historical buildings to be converted into apartments(Gene Ashley/WHYY)

Old WSFS building located at 838 Market Street is one of three historical buildings to be converted into apartments(Gene Ashley/WHYY)

A new residential project is expected to bring big changes to Market Street in downtown Wilmington.

The Buccini/Pollin Group celebrated the groundbreaking of what it’s calling ‘Market Street Village,’ the Wilmington-based developer’s newest residential project.

BPG’s Senior Vice President Michael Hare said the transformative project “not only adds additional [residents] to the downtown, but reactivates this significant intersection of 9th and Market [Streets], long considered Main and Main in Wilmington.”

Technically a re-groundbreaking, the $25 million project will redevelop three historical, existing buildings along Market Street into 76 one-bedroom and efficiency units.

Two of the buildings are at the corner of 9th and Market, while the third building is located on E. 3rd St. between N. Market St. and North King St.

Hare said the apartments are open to all who qualify based on income, but said BPG’s research suggested Market Street Village would be ideal for young teachers, professionals and paraprofessionals, given its proximity to several local schools. 

“You’re familiar with the adage, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ Let me suggest that it takes a village to create a village, specifically Market Street Village,” Hare said.

Supporters of the project include the Downtown Development District Program, Delaware State Housing Authority and the Delaware Community Investment Corporation . The project is designed by Blackney Hayes Architects and the project lenders include Citi Bank and Discover.

Delaware First Lady Carla Markell was a guest speaker at Thursday’s groundbreaking inside the old WSFS building, one of the three soon-to-be converted buildings. 

“The key to making a city vital is to get a lot of people living downtown,” she said. “Housing is the key, I think, for young people who are trying to get on their feet and to have affordable options in this city brings vitality and opportunity to people who may not otherwise have those opportunities.” 

Taking into consideration downtown Wilmington’s arts community, its restaurants, local training programs, the state’s and city’s efforts to reduce crime and now this new residential project, Markell said she’s “excited to see what else is to come.”

Construction is already underway and the project is expected to be complete by this August.

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