Redevelopment of The Flats neighborhood in Wilmington begins
Work is underway on a neighborhood facelift on Wilmington’s West Side.
Officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking Wednesday for the redevelopment of The Flats neighborhood. The project, spearheaded by the non-profit Woodlawn Trustees, is updating the aging affordable housing the group provides to low-income people in that area.
The first phase calls for 80 old and obsolete units to be replaced with 73 modern general occupancy units.
Six additional phases are planned over the next 10 to 15 years with 100 million dollars expected to be spent to rehab over 450 residential units.
At Wednesday’s groundbreaking, Sen. Chris Coons noted the massive project will continue the neighborhood’s historic legacy as a hub of affordable housing in Wilmington.
"This incredible revitalization will play a decisive part in making sure that safe and sanitary, decent and affordable housing, will be available for a century to come, just as it has been for the century just concluded," he said.
The project’s first phase is scheduled to be completed by Fall 2016 at a cost of $15.5 million. Officials announced Wednesday that it received a $500,000 affordable housing grant through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh and WSFS Bank locally.
Wilmington Councilman Bob Williams - who serves The Flats neighborhood - says the project will revitalize the area and make it safer - while helping cash-strapped residents save money.
"Pumping dollars into the city gives the residents an opportunity to have affordable housing, and most importantly housing that’s going to provide them with free income, because it’s going to be energy efficient," he said.
Residents can expect to pay lower utility bills in the new, energy-saving units.
This first phase of project is scheduled to be completed by Fall of 2016.