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BPG to build Humble Park apartments in LoMa

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Buccini/Pollin Group BPG Humble Park

The Buccini/Pollin Group broke ground on the 61-unit Humble Park apartment complex in Wilmington’s Lower Market community Thursday. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

WILMINGTON – The Buccini/Pollin Group unveiled its newest project Thursday, breaking ground on the $16 million Humble Park apartment complex in the Lower Market community.

Redeveloping a small, neglected city park at the corner of Fourth and Market streets into a new 61-unit market rate complex, Humble Park will continue the housing momentum begun by the city development giant with nearby projects like The Cooper, Lincoln Square and Crosby Hill. BPG acquired the less than half-acre lot from the city of Wilmington and a variety of small landowners over the last two years.

Lower Market has long seen a gap in housing projects compared to North Market or the Riverfront, which was what excited Mayor Mike Purzycki about the new project.

Mike Purzycki Robert Rob Buccini Humble Park Buccini/Pollin Group BPG

Mayor Mike Purzycki, right, talks with Buccini/Pollin Group co-founder Robert Buccini at the groundbreaking for the $16 million Humble Park complex. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

“For 20 years, the people who were thinking about developing downtown Wilmington always envisioned a connector between the Riverfront and the downtown, but it never happened. It was just too wide a gap. But today you can see it’s actually happening,” he told Delaware Business Times. “The stores and restaurants that never had a chance below Fourth Street now have a really good chance.”

When asked how the city might better connect the Lower Market and Riverfront sections that are currently divided by Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Purzycki said that he didn’t think a pedestrian bridge would be the answer. He was in favor of increasing lighting and consistent materials to visibly link a route between the two halves.

In Humble Park, future residents while find a newly-built complex most similar to the nearby 92-unit Cooper, said Robert Buccini, co-founder of BPG and leader of its residential development efforts. It will feature an interior courtyard with greenery as well as a rooftop deck, which BPG’s recently opened Crosby Hill pioneered in the city.

“We find the market really responds to the attention to detail,” Buccini told DBT. “Whether you’re in a car driving past or if you came downtown and going for a walk, I think people will appreciate the quality design that our architecture firm DIGSAU put into this and The Cooper.”

Buccini/Pollin Group BPG Humble Park Wilmington

Humble Park will feature high-end finishes along with a central courtyard and rooftop deck. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

With the site cleared and work to begin soon, Humble Park has an estimated build timeline of 14 months, said Buccini, who estimated that it would take the firm about nine months to fully lease the project based on recent patterns.

It will feature one and two-bedroom apartments with high-end finishes along with a fitness center, resident lounge, and co-working space. The building will also feature a mural designed by artist, musician, and co-owner of Spaceboy Clothing, Dave Sanchez, who helped revitalize the neglected park and transformed the space into an outdoor performing arts venue seven year ago.

Humble Park will be the second new-build project for BPG in the Market Street Corridor after Crosby Hill and is scheduled to be succeeded soon by another new apartment project just to the north at Eighth and Orange streets.

After more than a decade of being the only major developer in town, Buccini noted that new projects by out-of-state developers in the Market Street corridor and Riverfront East have only increased BPG’s enthusiasm for Wilmington’s market potential.

“At the end of the day, competition breeds excellence. So, I think the fact that we have other very skilled builders in the market right causes us to have even that much more attention to detail,” he said, noting that lease trends continue to be strong even with increased competition.

Michael Hare, executive vice president of development for BPG, noted that the firm’s residential projects have a particular impact on the growth of the city.

“Sixty-five percent of the people who move into our buildings are new to the city. That’s significant. It shows their confidence in the evolution of the downtown and their pride and belief in urban living,” he said.

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