[caption id="attachment_234072" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Robert Buccini, co-founder and co-president of Buccini/Pollin Group, unveils The Press, a new 243-unit apartment community off Orange Street in Wilmington. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
WILMINGTON – Just three months after breaking ground on its last apartment project, the Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) officially began work on a new $90 million project at the corner of 8th and Orange streets in the city’s central business district.The 243-unit complex called The Press will replace a former Wilmington Parking Authority parking lot that is adjacent to other BPG complexes, including The Residences at Mid-Town Park and MKT Place, and pushes development further west from the Market Street corridor. The name pays tribute to the site that was once the printing plant for The News Journal newspaper, and pieces of the print presses remain in the soil, officials said.
[caption id="attachment_234071" align="alignleft" width="300"] A guest looks at an aerial rendering of Buccini/Pollin Group's The Press after Friday's groundbreaking ceremony. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
The centerpiece of the project is a 14-story glass tower – similar to BPG’s recently opened Crosby Hill complex – offering studio to three-bedroom units. A four-story brick building will also front 8th Street, offering three-bedroom duplexes with two levels of apartment flats above.The Press will take BPG’s design aesthetics “up a notch” and feature amenities that have been popular with its most recent projects, including a rooftop deck, pool, interior park and more, according to Robert Buccini, co-founder and co-president of BPG.“This will be our nicest project yet,” he told Delaware Business Times after a Friday morning groundbreaking ceremony at the site.Combined with the 61-unit Humble Park project in Wilmington’s Lower Market area just to the south and the 355 units in The Standard created in the repurposing of the Nemours Building just to the north, BPG’s investment of more than $200 million into additional residential units in downtown Wilmington this year is a showing of confidence in the market, Buccini said.“We're seeing an accelerating demand [for apartments],” he said. “Wilmington, because of the safety and cleanliness, has really continued the momentum that we witnessed coming out of pandemic.”That is evidenced by the fact that leasing at the 203-unit Crosby Hill will surpass 90% this week after opening in January, marking the firm’s fastest lease up ever in the city, Buccini said. Overall, the firm has a 96% occupancy rate for its Wilmington communities.Buccini credited the critical mass of residents living downtown to the success of leasing thousands of units in the city in the past decade.“We find that as more people are on the streets, the more comfortable people feel,” he said.
[caption id="attachment_234070" align="alignright" width="300"] Officials turn a ceremonial first shovelful of dirt Friday morning on The Press, a new apartment community in downtown Wilmington. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
Mike Hare, executive vice president of development for BPG, said the addition of an estimated 400 people to the city through The Press represented a significant addition to Wilmington.“That represents real growth for a city that is as wage-tax-dependent as ours,” he said, noting that more than 65% of its Wilmington tenants are new to the city. “People often would commute to the city because that's where their job was and they had to be there, [but now] for people to live in the city represents their confidence in the city and their desire to be here.”Mayor Mike Purzycki thanked BPG for continuing to invest in Wilmington and said that the momentum created by the new projects is creating a palpable sense of change.
[caption id="attachment_234066" align="alignleft" width="300"] Mayor Mike Purzycki hailed the start of The Press as further evidence of a renaissance in downtown Wilmington. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
“It's been heartening, not only to BPG, but … emboldening the other investors to come to Wilmington,” he said, referring to three other major apartment projects led by Philadelphia and Baltimore-area firms in the past few years. “There's something special about our city.”With site preparation underway, The Press is expected to be opened in the summer of 2025, while Humble Park opens next summer, Buccini said. It won’t be the end of BPG’s investment in its hometown city though, as the firm is already designing several more large projects that it expects to announce by the end of the year, Buccini said.
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