The sheer normality of the event felt new.
On Thursday afternoon, Buccini Pollin Group (BPG) gathered Mayor Mike Purzycki, local politicians, community members and reporters for an outdoor press conference to announce Crosby Hill, a 203-unit apartment community coming to 5th and Shipley Streets in Downtown Wilmington in 2022.
The event wasn’t a groundbreaking, as the project is underway beneath a big yellow crane. At the moment, the former parking lot a block west of The Queen is a hole-in-the-ground construction site. When finished, it will be three buildings, the tallest 11 stories high.
The press conference announcing the new building was typical, with speeches, photo ops and a bit ceremony (in this case, raising a flag in the crane) to commemorate the announcement. Attendees, most seated under a tent, did wear masks as requested.
But after more than a year of virtually no such gatherings due to COVID-19, it felt like a turning point.
The project is supported by the Downtown Development District program, which provides a rebate to developers of projects that stimulate job growth and commercial vitality in the downtown districts of Dover, Georgetown, Harrington, Laurel, Milford, Seaford, Smyrna and Wilmington.
The $62 million Crosby Hill development, named after the Crosby and Hill Department Store located downtown from 1878 to 1960, was designed by Niles Bolton Associates and includes two four-story buildings and one 11-story building surrounding that will include amenities such as a courtyard with a swimming pool, fireplace, barbecue grills, a screening area and a pergola; a private parking garage; a fitness center; and a penthouse clubroom on the 11th floor with city and river views.
The clubroom will also have a coworking space, kitchen, game room and outdoor terrace.
BPG, which has developed projects consistently through the pandemic, has launched several downtown Wilmington residences over the last year. It opened 13 units on Market Street at 713 MKT in March 2020, and, in September 2020, opened the first living experience in the DuPont Building with 198 units at 101 dupont place. In April, it opened The Cooper, a 92-unit community on Lower Market Street. Other BPG projects in the city include the food hall DECO, La Cavalier, the Nemours Building (home of The Mill). and The Chase Field House (formerly known as the 76ers Field House).
We’ll keep an eye out for future downtown developments, as well as the continuing reopening of Wilmington.