Real Estate - Commercial

Site Plans Submitted For Part Of Soda Pop District

By Cece Nunn, posted Sep 14, 2017
A developer's plans for 920 Princess St. include class-A office space and a restaurant. (Photo by Cece Nunn)
A Wilmington developer who’s working to bring new commercial tenants to a former industrial area has submitted site plans to the city for renovations to one of his properties.

The plans involve renovating the larger of the buildings at 920 Princess St. to transform it into class-A office space, said Jim McFarland of Osprey Lands LLC, who purchased the former Coca-Cola Bottling property for $1.5 million in 2015.

McFarland also purchased the adjacent 909 Market St., the home of planning, design and engineering consulting firm W.K. Dickson & Co., last year for $1.1 million. McFarland said the renovations planned at 920 Princess St. will allow W.K. Dickson to move into part of the revamped two-story, 28,000-square-foot building, along with two other office users he has not yet named.

“The building we’re moving them [W.K. Dickson] into will be a much nicer building, more attune to their flavors for office space,” McFarland said Thursday.

McFarland then plans to turn what will be the former W.K. Dickson building at 909 Market St., an 8,000 square foot space, into a full-service restaurant. Another restaurant would go into 4,000 square feet in a smaller, connected building at 920 Princess St., the oldest building in the former Coca-Cola Bottling group that McFarland said he particularly wanted to save.

The area McFarland is working on has been referred to as the Soda Pop District and includes 9th through 11th streets from Chestnut to Market streets. He said Thursday that despite the denial in January by city officials of a rezoning request related to an entrance and exit, he's still working to bring a grocery store to the district.

“We will definitely bring a grocery store eventually. It’s just a matter of how long we wait for it,” McFarland said.

The plans for 920 Princess St. are expected to be on the agenda of the city of Wilmington’s Technical Review Committee on Sept. 28, according to the city’s project tracking website. McFarland said he anticipates that the work on the office building could take about 10 months to complete.

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