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Real Estate - Commercial

Wilmington Plans To Demolish Longtime Downtown Offices

By Emma Dill, posted May 15, 2024
The city of Wilmington is seeking a company to demolish its office space at 305 Chestnut St. (Photo by Emma Dill)
Wilmington plans to demolish its downtown office space at 305 Chestnut St.

City officials posted a bid advertisement Tuesday for the demolition of the buildings near the corner of North Third and Chestnut streets. According to city spokesperson Dylan Lee, city leaders want to bid out the “full demolition” of the structures, including the removal of debris.

The 1.5-acre site is one of nine parcels in and around downtown that the Wilmington City Council declared surplus last year in anticipation of the city’s $68 million purchase of the former PPD headquarters at 929 N. Front St., which closed last July. Wilmington leaders aim to use sale proceeds from surplus properties to offset the purchase cost of its new campus.

The site at 305 Chestnut St. is home to two office buildings connected by a breezeway. The two-story building nearest North Third Street was constructed in 1959 and has an area of approximately 10,250 square feet. The five-story office building along Chestnut Street has approximately 37,500 square feet and was built in 1987, according to documents describing the scope of work.

According to Lee, the city opted to demolish both structures because of the results of a market analysis. 

“Market analysis shows there was no interest in re-using the existing structure, which is old and would require substantial repair,” Lee wrote in an email to the Business Journal. “The site, however, has great potential if built for today’s needs.”

The scope of work includes removing both buildings and backfilling a basement space below the two-story office building. The foundation of the larger five-story building will be left intact, and the plaza, trees and planters near the corner of North Third and Chestnut streets will be preserved during the demolition. Contractors will also be responsible for abating asbestos, which was found in both buildings, according to environmental tests.

The city of Wilmington acquired the property, which formerly operated as a bank, in 1997, according to property records. The total appraised tax value of the site is approximately $7.5 million, with a land valuation of $1.5 million and a building valuation of nearly $6 million.

City leaders purchased the former PPD building last summer to consolidate its scattered offices, which officials said at the time would be millions of dollars cheaper than fixing up some of its old office properties.

A mandatory pre-bid conference for the demolition will be held next week, and the bid period runs until June 6 at 3 p.m., at which time the city’s purchasing division will publicly open and read the bids.

A timeline for the building’s demolition will be set once a bid is accepted and a contract is approved, according to Lee.
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