Wilmington Renaissance Corporation purchased nine parcels of land in the West Center City neighborhood, on which the public space will be constructed.
WILMINGTON, Del. —Wilmington Renaissance Corporation (WRC) and Creative District Wilmington are proud to announce the 7th & West community greenspace project, a new greening and revitalization effort in the Creative District.
The latest component of WRC’s Vacant to Vibrant initiative, the 7th & West project will reclaim and clean an empty and blighted space in the West Center City neighborhood. Through the process of remediation, construction and landscaping, the chosen lot will become a vibrant public greenspace.
With a projected completion date of 2020, the approximately 17,000-square-foot space, located at the corner of 7th and West Streets, will become a green oasis for the neighborhood. It will become the only considerable greenspace between Rodney Square and Helen Chambers Park.
WRC and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) have jointly invested in the neighborhood. WRC has purchased the nine parcels upon which the new greenspace will be built, and DNREC is helping to fund the project site’s remediation.
“The project at 7th & West represents a commitment WRC has to continuing our mission in the neighborhood,” said Glenn Moore, WRC Board Chair. “The Creative District has already proved a successful project and with this new space, we are continuing our work and supporting Mayor Michael Purzycki’s West Center City initiative which seeks to stabilize and improve this long-neglected neighborhood.”
Once complete, the space will have at the center a multipurpose lawn area that will accommodate a variety of programming. The greenspace will also feature a raised bed community vegetable garden. Access to the plots will be membership-based and allow families to grow their own produce. Finally, the 7th & West space also have an activity area for more low-intensity activities and programming.
“I am certainly looking forward to what this new space will bring to the West Center City neighborhood,” said Wilmington Mayor Michael Purzycki. “Projects like these not only help beautify our city, but are important for the revitalization of our great neighborhoods.”
In order to insure a safe and healthy experience for residents, the lot will go through a rigorous remediation process.
WRC has engaged Duffield Associates to test and evaluate the soil and other environmental conditions of the lot. DNREC will monitor this process. After the evaluation, Duffield will manage the actual remediation process.
Two local firms have been contracted to design and build the new greenspace. Robinson Anderson Summers, of Wilmington, will be the landscape architects for the project, and Foresite Associates, of New Castle, will serve as the civil engineering firm.
“Community greenspaces provide much more than just neighborhood beautification – they are an opportunity for the community to gather and grow,” said Laura Semmelroth, Creative District Strategist. “We are proud to have been able to work very closely with community leaders and neighborhood residents on the development of this space.”
Creative District Wilmington is an effort to join the national wave of creative placemaking initiatives that seek to transform urban areas. Encompassing the area bounded by Fourth, Ninth, Market and Washington streets, the Creative District is focused on creative production and consumption, a place where creative entrepreneurs and neighborhood residents thrive and where locally designed goods and original works are made and consumed.
Wilmington Renaissance Corporation is a privately-funded, nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that strives to be a vital partner of Wilmington. We stimulate the city’s economy, attract new residents and develop programs that enrich our city’s culture. We are true transformers—working with government, investors and local citizens to bring Big Ideas to Life.