Location: Wilmington, DE
Client: Buccini / Pollin Group
Completion Date: 2008
OFA worked with BPG Group to produce a masterplan for the revitalization of Market Street in Wilmington known as the "Crosby Hill corridor". Crosby Hill is the critical spine that links the mixed use developments along the recaptured riverfront to the Central Business District within downtown Wilmington. Through the hard work of many concerned community members, business owners, non-profit organizations, developers and civic leaders, Crosby Hill is poised to become, as one writer recently observed, “....an urban utopia that celebrates cultural and commercial diversity.” And yet, while there is great energy, interest and momentum for Market Street’s transformation, the creation of a comprehensive vision for this corridor with respect to its assets, liabilities and hidden potential was necessary in order to responsibly plan its future. At this critical stage in its re-development, this document summarizes a cohesive vision for Market Street that respects its great history and looks critically at the possibilities for its future.
HISTORY MATTERS: Support the historical and cultural institutions as well as viable businesses already present. Respect and maintain historic structures, details and public amenities. Build upon the prestige of Market Street’s history by designing exquisite contemporary architecture and using the best products of our time, rather than mimicking the past.
MIX IT UP: Establish complementary commercial, retail and residential uses needed to create a vibrant community. Highlight entertainment destinations to create a catalyst for further redevelopment. Create the infrastructure and amenities necessary for a 24-hour downtown experience. Reinvigorate the retail storefronts along the corridor and “turn the lights on upstairs” by renovating long-vacant upper floors for residential and commercial use.
THINK BIG: Assemble a critical mass of holdings along the corridor (BPG portfolio now exceeds two dozen properties). Identify signature projects that promote a larger, denser scale of development and accelerate a transformed perception of the downtown. Create anchors that attract traffic, publicity and spillover development. Build momentum for change with highly visible redevelopments.
GO GREEN: All new construction and renovation projects would strive to meet basic LEED requirements—starting with recycling existing structures into contemporary uses. Progressive energy conservation and generation technologies will be explored.