More rental housing planned for Wilmington’s Christina riverfront

A hotel and a movie theatre are among the current proposals to attract visitors to Wilmington’s riverfront.  Now, plans have been announced to draw more people to live there.

City officials gathered along the Christina River Tuesday for the announcement of Phase Two of the Justison Landing development, which will include construction of a 116-unit luxury rental community. 

“I’m excited to see that there’s going to be another project that is not only going to give great, beautiful homes for individuals, but will do what is essential for the economic feasibility of Wilmington, which is to bring the residents and the critical mass and residents which are essential to the success of any city,” Wilmington City Council member Hanifa Shabazz said. 

Developer Buccini/Pollin Group says the existing three apartment communities in the area have occupancy rates at a minimum of 95-percent. “To us, this is about seeing Wilmington continuing to grow into its potential,” said BPG Co-President Rob Buccini.  “We remain confident in our hometown, and we’ll continue to build on the city’s strong foundation for growth.” 

The project is expected to get underway in early 2012 and be completed by the spring of 2013.  The five-story building at 401 Justison Street will include one- and two-bedroom rental units. 

Mayor James Baker and others took notice of Wilmington’s ability to undertake a cooperative public-private venture during a very difficult economy.  “Look around you,” Baker said.  “You will find no other city in this region is doing what this city is doing.”

“What’s so impressive is that when the rest of the world is going through this terrible real estate recession, we’re talking about additional housing here,” added Riverfront Development Corporation Executive Director Mike Purzycki.  In addition to bringing a cinema to the area, Purzycki said developers hope to soon announce the opening of another restaurant at the riverfront.

Buccini-Pollin Group said it has made nearly $700 million in direct investment in Wilmington since 1999, including residential and commercial ventures downtown as well as at the riverfront.

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