Wilm. council approves $100 million Flats redevelopment plan

By Tom Lehman 6:24pm, December 13, 2013
The $100 million plan to redevelop and modernize Wilmington’s Flats neighborhood cleared its final legislative hurdle when it was passed by City Council Thursday night.

WDEL's Tom Lehman has more...

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Council unanimously approved Woodlawn Trustees' plan to gradually demolish the affordable housing rental units along Bancroft Parkway and replace them with new subsidized townhomes and apartments.

Financing is still being secured for the project, which would be completed through a seven-part process that would take place over more than a decade.

Vernon Green, Woodlawn Trustees' Chief executive officer, said the some residents living in homes that would be demolished would be temporarily moved into vacant homes.

"Our residents are planning on being within our community, we will take them from some of the buildings so they remain part of our community,"

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"Not only is it going to have a financial impact, but it's also going to create some synergy in our city. It's going to create affordable housing, it's going to create energy efficient housing, safer housing," said Councilman Bob Williams (D-District 7).

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Williams, whose district includes the Flats, said residents of the community often use towels and dishrags and run their heaters or ovens to help heat their homes.

The new units will include brick exteriors, central air conditioning units and insulation. Safety measures like sprinklers would also be placed in homes.

The project also calls for creation of about 360 off-street parking spaces.

Council members said they supported the plan because of the nonprofit's commitment to hire city residents to construct the new buildings and continue to offer affordable housing.

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"Woodlawn has a stake in this community, they continue to invest in Wilmington. They're not walking away," said Councilwoman Maria Cabrera (D-At Large).

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