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First Phase of Riverside Redevelopment Closes on Financing

Dec 04, 2020


Aerial Riverside

Purpose Built Community will add 74 affordable and workforce apartments to Wilmington, Delaware

Pennrose, REACH Riverside, and the Wilmington Housing Authority have closed on financing for phase one of the Riverside Redevelopment, the community-led master-planned redevelopment of Northeast Wilmington’s Riverside neighborhood. Designed on the principles of Purpose Built Communities, construction on the first of eight phases is slated to begin immediately and deliver all units within 18 months.

Phase one includes 74 brand-new one to four-bedroom townhouses, with 59 affordable units available to tenants with incomes up to 60% of Area Median Income (AMI) and 15 workforce housing units available. Of the total units, 12 will be fully ADA accessible and eight will be designed for residents with special needs. Residents will also enjoy access to a community room, on-site management and maintenance offices, a common green space with a raised garden, gazebo, and tot lot. All units will be Zero Energy Ready.

“This is truly a monumental and long overdue moment for the Riverside neighborhood and the entire city of Wilmington,” said Logan Herring, CEO OF REACH Riverside. “As a life-long resident of the City, I emphatically understand the positive impact that quality housing, a safe neighborhood, and access to resources has on the trajectory of a family’s health and quality of life. The holistic approach we are taking with all of our partners and funders, including the City, County, and State, will soon make the vision of a community where everyone thrives a reality

“This has been quite a journey and WHA is pleased that this time our promise to provide affordable new housing is finally coming to fruition,” said Thomas Harkless, Executive Director for Wilmington Housing Authority. “Our residents deserve improved housing conditions and enhanced quality of life” 

“Closing on the financing and beginning construction is a significant milestone,” said Ryan Bailey, Senior Developer at Pennrose. “Phase one lays the groundwork for this multi-faceted initiative led by the Wilmington Housing Authority and REACH Riverside. We look forward to transforming the Riverside neighborhood into a vibrant community that improves lives.”

Once complete, the entire Riverside redevelopment will include 600 high-quality, mixed-income rental and for-sale homes and a new Kingswood Community Center including a best in class Early Learning Academy as the foundation of a “cradle to college/career” education pipeline to serve the community. The Community Center will continue to provide vital educational, health, wellness, and social resources to the surrounding neighborhood. The housing development is located on land owned by the Wilmington Housing Authority that once contained 530 units of public housing, but 230 units were demolished during the last decade.

As the 19th affiliate member of the Purpose Built Communities network, a nationally renowned organization dedicated to holistic community redevelopment, REACH Riverside will focus on the three pillars of revitalization shown to have the greatest impact on long term community health and well-being – mixed-income housing redevelopment, education, and community health. In addition to the new housing options and Community Center, REACH Riverside also recently opened The Warehouse, a teen-designed, co-working and service delivery space focused on serving Wilmington’s teen population.

Phase 1 was financed through an allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Delaware State Housing Authority, who also contributed construction and permanent debt.  The tax credits are being purchased by Cinnaire, who also provided permanent financing.  Wilmington Housing Authority, REACH Riverside, the City of Wilmington, the County of New Castle and M&T Bank also provided critical financing. 

Pennrose is active throughout Delaware and the tri-state region. Pennrose also developed The Garrison, which includes 120 modern apartments in downtown New Castle, Delaware.