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Rezoning makes way for senior housing on Wilmington's N. Market Street

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media
Some of the properties along N. Market St. affected by the rezoning

Wilmington City Council approved a rezoning request in the northeast part of the City Thursday. It’s expected to make way for a senior housing project. 

The rezoning from C-l (Neighborhood Shopping) to C2 (Secondary Business Centers) affects 13 parcels off North Market Street, some of which are vacant. 

City of Wilmington planner Matthew Harris explained during Thursday’s council meeting the change makes way for low- to moderate-income senior housing sponsored by the Ministry of Caring.  The project will include multi-story mixed-use buildings. 

City Councilwoman Loretta Walsh, who has served on the board of a similar Ministry of Caring development, praised the project. 

“This type of development and these rezoning changes have been talked about for the last 35 years,” she said. “When this all gets together, along with the river enhancements, it’s truly going to be a  river to river city once again.… I just see the property values going up and up and up.”

Multiple members of the public also spoke in favor of the rezoning. 

John Pittas is president of the Brandywine Village Civic Association and a longtime resident of the neighborhood. 

“That area of Market Street which used to be a lot of the small shops back a long time ago, has unfortunately gone downhill … in the past 30 years,” he said during the public comment period.  “There’s a number of empty storefronts there so it’s good to see this project coming into that area.”

Harris said the project should be an “infusion of economic development,” but the rezoning does allow for a height and level of density out of character with the nearby Brandywine Village historic district. 

Other affordable senior housing projects sponsored by the Ministry of Caring include the Village of St. John in Brandywine Village, Sacred Heart Village I in the Trinity Vicinity neighborhood and Sacred Heart Village II on the East Side. 


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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