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Decision On Castle Street Redevelopment Project Postponed To January

By Cece Nunn, posted Oct 20, 2021
Starting over on the potential redevelopment of city-owned land on Castle Street remains a possibility after a decision Tuesday by the Wilmington City Council. 

The council continued until January a measure that would lead to issuing a new request for proposals for the transformation of 1110 Castle St., a former Wave Transit bus maintenance facility that has been sitting dormant for years.

The city previously issued an RFP in April 2019 for the redevelopment project, and Wilmington-based Hipp Architecture & Development PC proposed a mixed-use project with some affordable housing and commercial space.

In September last year, the Wilmington City Council voted to have the city staff work on finalizing an agreement with Hipp Architecture. But Hipp’s proposal has changed since then, including the partners involved and the mix of housing.

One of the main issues concerning some city officials with the current proposal is the amount of affordable housing now included in the development - 15 of 23 units.

“The market rates on [the remaining] units, the income, the revenue from those units helped us offset the lack of any type of revenue that we could gain from the affordable housing,” Hipp told the Wilmington City Council at its meeting Tuesday night.

Hipp’s proposal now includes Genesis Block, a business development services company that would become the owner of the two existing buildings on the site.

The property is also currently undergoing an environmental assessment. The additional time allows for the assessment and for HIpp and his team to look at options.

“I just think we ought to all regroup...we ought to take a fresh look at this,” said Mayor Pro Tem Margaret Haynes on Tuesday night. “I think we all want whatever the best thing is for Castle Street.”

Hipp said on Wednesday, “We appreciate taking the opportunity to find a solution on the affordable housing that both parties can agree to.”
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