Last July, a fire destroyed the blighted warehouse that occupied part of 1108-30 N. Front St. Previously owned by Tower Investments, Wilmington based 1118 Front Street LLP purchased the property in September with plans for redevelopment. They first presented plans for 30 three-story homes to NLNA in November, though some criticism arose about parking in conjunction with the proposal’s interaction with Front Street.

The lot today

According to Larry Freedman, NLNA zoning chair, his group wants retain some of the old commercial feel along Front Street, a street that’s has languished in the neighborhood. “The problem was the way they [developers] approached Front Street,” said Freedman. “It got us thinking kind of how we should envision Front Street from a bigger picture.”

Front Street to the south don't look too hot either

Right after Thanksgiving, the developers came back to NLNA having made some revisions to their proposal. They promised some two-story commercial space along Front Street, along with access to parking area for the homes facing Hope Street. NLNA still insisted that the developers meet with their Urban Design Committee to finalize materials, landscaping, etc. before they would formally approve the project.

Looking up Hope Street. Change is a'coming

Assuming this project gets off the ground, it will complete the revitalization of Hope Street, which has been spearheaded by the 20-home H3 project that we’ve told you about many times already. It’s amazing to think about what this street looked like just a couple of years ago, what it looks like today, and what it stands to look like a year from now. If only Front Street can build off of some of that momentum, it will be tremendous news indeed for the entire neighborhood.

–Lou Mancinell