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Beam raising for new Salvation Army campus marks start of 'Riverfront East' development in Wilmington

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media
Public officials, representatives of the Riverfront Development Corporation and the Salvation Army sign a beam at the charitable organization's future campus

Redevelopment of Wilmington’s second riverfront is underway with construction of a new campus for the Salvation Army.

Public officials celebrated the progress toward “Riverfront East” with a beam raising ceremony Friday.

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media
A building under construction at the Salvation Army's future campus

The Salvation Army’s new campus next to the Chase Fieldhouse on South Market Street will have a 17,000-square foot retail store, a 78-bed rehab center and a warehouse building with office and storage space.

Officials with the City and the quasi-governmental Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC) see it as the first step toward Wilmington’s second riverfront.

RDC director Megan McGlinchey says the move will open up space for new roads and buildings by private developers at the Salvation Army’s current location a few blocks up South Market Street, closer to the river.

“Once we have this campus complete and the Salvation Army settled in, we can begin the first phase of revitalization along the east side of the river,” McGlinchey said during Friday’s event. “This will start just about a half a mile from where we are now with a new road network that allows better traffic flow into and out of Riverfront East, plus safer pedestrian access.”

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki says he helped acquire the land in his previous role with the Riverfront Development Corporation.

“Nobody ever would imagine that in this place, we would have this 160,000 square foot fieldhouse with these athletic fields everywhere, and now have the opportunity to have the Salvation Army relocate over here,” he said Friday.

The Salvation Army campus is expected to be finished in summer 2022.

Construction of the road system and other infrastructure projects is planned to start next fall.