Spanning the next three to four years, the DuPont building including – the Hotel du Pont, the Playhouse and office buildings – will be converted into a mixed-use complex including; apartments, 40,000 square feet of retail space and dining.
“To me, this is one of the most important projects in our city because that building has been one of our most powerful symbols,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki.
“To see it come back like this gives us a sense of optimism that it will turn the tide of confidence in the city.”
BPG estimates the project will create 300 temporary construction jobs along with 30 full-time positions in the property’s retail and residential spaces. Wage, payroll and other taxes are expected to generate nearly $23 million in revenue for the city, state and county over three years and about $38 million over five years, according to data from the Wilmington-based developer.
Modernizing the building’s first floor along 10th street, will add 40,000 square feet of retail space. Buccini said it was too early to list potential tenants, but about 10,000 square feet of that space at the corner 10th and Orange streets will be occupied by a food hall, one of the hottest trends in urban dining.
A food hall rather than a food court, will employe local chefs showcasing their dishes – typically healthier eating options, instead of traditional chain restaurants. Food halls are a major trend in downtown district’s revitalization projects over the past years.
A study by real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield found 96 major food hall projects totaling over 2.4 million square feet of space were under construction by the end of last year’s third quarter.
Buccini said the DuPont Building’s food hall will have about eight different stands offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“The food hall takes smaller, independent and maybe even start-up food providers and gives them a facility where they don’t have to build a restaurant,” Hare said. “It’s meant to inspire a sense of entrepreneurship in the city.”
Read the full article at DelawareOnline.com
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Feature image from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.