[caption id="attachment_226660" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] The Buccini/Pollin Group recently sold its former A Street headquarters to a regional HVAC company that will center its regional operations there. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
WILMINGTON – The Buccini/Pollin Group has grown into one of the powerhouse development firms in Wilmington and beyond, but some of the firm’s earliest roots were planted in an award-winning, European-style office building on the city’s south side.The 110,000-square-foot building, known as 322 A Street, lies just below the Christina River in the Riverfront East community. When it was built by BPG in 2004, it was the first new office building built east of the river in more than 25 years. The building, which won state and national architecture awards, was home to BPG’s first headquarters and it later signed a tenancy with E. J. De Seta Company, a major HVAC company led by the Buccini brothers’ late father that brought 100 jobs to the site.It helped kickstart development interest in Riverfront East, with BPG investing in the building of apartments and the Chase Fieldhouse that now houses a professional basketball team. Other firms committed millions to building the Christina Crossing shopping center, which includes the state’s largest grocery store in an area that lacked adequate access to fresh food.Now, however, 322 A Street is entering a new chapter after BPG sold it last week for more than $16.2 million toSSM Industries, a Pittsburgh-based union HVAC company that acquired E.J. De Seta Company in 2020. The company will reportedly consolidate its New Jersey office into the Wilmington site, where it will continue to serve the tri-state region.The office building continues to also be home to OneMagnify, a data-driven marketing firm, but BPG left its original home in 2019, as it relocated to renovated space in the downtown Brandywine Building.“322 A Street will always have a sentimental place in our hearts as our first office in the city, our first award-winning designed project, and the place where we cultivated an amazing team of associates and leaders who have helped make our vision for the city a reality. We are pleased to have found great stewards who will continue to care for the building as we have over the years,” BPG wrote in a statement about the sale to the Delaware Business Times.
[caption id="attachment_226661" align="alignleft" width="300"] As evidence of 322 A Street's impact, a Maryland firm is developing the River House apartments directly across the street from the office building today. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
The development firm noted that although they have invested heavily in Wilmington's central business district in recent years, they also remain committed to the vision they began nearly two decades ago. BPG recently completed work on a new home for the Salvation Army adjacent to the Chase Fieldhouse and is completing work on a redevelopment of the former Gold Club property into a Royal Farms and Taco Bell. It will likely also invest in the upcoming Riverfront East redevelopment of the South Market Street corridor led by the Riverfront Development Corp.Meanwhile, BPG’s first major Wilmington project has spurred the outside interest that they hoped it would. A Maryland-based firm is developing River House, a 150-unit apartment complex near 322 A Street, while a Philadelphia-based firm recently began work on the 193-unit Luxor Wilmington off South Market Street.