March-April 8th District Newsletter
Updated: Mar 8
Dear 8th District Residents, Here’s my March-April neighborhood update.
In case you missed it, here is the January-February newsletter. Are you considering moving to Wilmington or did you grow up here and thinking about moving back? If so, please take my two minute survey.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have a question, a concern or an idea. I'm here to listen.
Nathan Field Nrfield@wilmingtonde.gov 302-530-6626
Important Housing Stabilization Legislation Passed
I was proud to be a co-sponsor of this key ordinance that was passed 10-3 and addresses this key “problem:” "It's almost a year before the L&I department can take any actions on the landlords when they're in violation of the codes."...such delays decrease the supply of quality housing, especially in lower-income areas
By creating stricter but reasonable consequences for failing to fix code violations, the ordinance will increase fair housing opportunities throughout the city.
Small Business Profile: Trudy @ 1701 Delaware Avenue Each newsletter I will profile an 8th District small business. This month: Trudy, a New York style women’s clothing boutique, run by Liza Fragomele. Click here to read the website to learn more about the selections on offer.
Why did you pick Wilmington and Trolley Square to open your business? After growing up here, I lived for many years in New York City, working in fashion. I came to realize how much I missed Wilmington and decided to move back home. I picked Trolley Square because it reminded me so much of New York, in terms of the foot traffic and the energy. I thought this spot was a perfect location.
What do you like most about running a business in this neighborhood? The sense of community is so nice. People pop in all the time and tell you how happy they are to have your business here….we have a small town vibe with big city energy.
What do you want potential customers to know about your store the most?
People sometimes think it’s for younger women. It’s really aimed at all ages. It’s not super conservative. It’s a fun fashion forward vibe for people of any age.
Speaking of supporting local small businesses, there is Covid assistance money available, via the Wilmington Strong Fund. Click here for more details.
News from the 8th District Cultural Scene
The Delaware Art Museum continues its impressive growth as a major regional art center. Here's a great article on its plans for the Spring and congratulations to neighborhood resident Molly Giordano for being named permanent director.
3x in the span of 50 days towards the end of 2020, flash floods led to unprecedented flooding in Trolley Square, especially at the intersection of 14th & Scott. The Public Works Department has done a special investigation with consultants to figure out what is causing the issue. To keep you fully informed I asked the Commissioner for an update on its finding. Click here to read full update on the completed investigation.
Scholarships Available for High School Seniors Each City Council member has $4,000 to distribute (on a use it or lose it basis) as scholarships. To apply, please send an essay along with your resume answering the following question: If you were Mayor, what is your top idea for making Wilmington a better city? How would you make sure your idea works?
It must be at least 250 words to be considered and should be emailed to Nrfield@wilmingtonde.gov no later than Friday April 23rd at 5pm. You must be a resident of the 8th District and a senior in high school planning on studying at a university or vocational school next fall.
The latest on the proposed building at 1700 Shallcross Avenue
As I noted in my January newsletter, a sale agreement has been reached for the parcel at 1700 Shallcross Avenue. There is a proposal to build 24 2 bedroom apartments with 16 parking spots as required by the zoning code. 12 additional spots are being sought from CSX, the railroad company. If obtained from CSX this would mean 28 parking spots "on site" versus "on the street."
On February 17th the project went before the Design Review and Planning Committee to present a "request for demolition of existing building and construction of two clusters of apartment buildings, containing four buildings which will hold 24 apartments." The sole purview of the DRPC in this instance is to assess whether a proposed design falls within the parameters of the Historic Conversation District that 40 Acres falls into. On that basis, the new exterior design, pictured above, was approved by the committee.
The next steps are that the proposal will be submitted to the City. I will continue to work as hard as I can to ensure that the concerns of residents, especially as relates to parking, are addressed.
News from the former Bancroft Mills site
"The Falls" nears completion:
The first 2 buildings consisting of about 170 units are almost complete. Some tenants have moved in. All traffic to the site will go through Mill Road. There will be no entrance via Rockford Road. The use of the temporary entrance on Riddle Avenue is finished. Buildings C & D will be built in the coming year or so for a total of 340 units. Managing such dramatic development: That so many people want to live in this area is a testament to the incredible beauty of the Brandywine. However, the pace of new construction creates new challenges. In just 3 years, the massive mill complex has been replaced by these apartments. Several dozen townhomes were also added on Riddle Avenue. We need new traffic arrangements to ensure pedestrian safety and to see that new buildings are successfully integrated with the already existing community. House Rep. Gerald Brady and I recently met with with several concerned Riddle Avenue residents and have arranged for the following: (1) A speed monitoring device has been ordered for Riddle Avenue (2) Handicapped access and safety striping to be installed adjacent to the entrance at 2300 Riddle Avenue with a crosswalk connection to the newly installed ADA pedestrian ramp on the western sidewalk (3) A dog park on the open space of the 1800 block of Wawaset St. This will include the installation of a receptacle for recycled waste bags and a fortified metal depository
In addition, Rep. Brady and I are working to create a footpath that would run along the East side of the Brandywine, all the way down to the new "Falls" apartments:
This will increase walkability in Wilmington especially given the growth of the Insyte company nearby, make it less necessary to have a car, and help ease parking pressures on the Trolley Square and 40 Acres areas.
Lovering Avenue Gas Station Project Nearly Complete
Great news for the neighborhood! The owner is looking to hire local residents and if interested please call.
Limiting Disruption from the Trolley Square Gas Line Repairs
In February, DELMARVA began a months long project to replace the gas main in the Trolley Square area. Several residents have been worried about the requirement to move cars from 9am to 5pm for an unclear period of time. With so many people working at home due to Covid, this is a delicate situation.
To give residents more clarity, I asked Delmarva to provide me a more detailed "block by block" schedule of work. See below:
If you have questions, feel free to get in touch.
New Playground Equipment in World-Class Cool Springs Park
Due to the collective efforts of West Side Grows, Cornerstone West, and the City Parks Department money was raised to build a new playground in the lower portion of Cool Springs Park adjacent to Jackson Street.
Repairs to Foot Bridge in Brandywine Park
The repairs to the footbridge in Brandywine Park are scheduled to take place this month.
Remember 311 - a very important initiative to improve city services
Introduced only last August, the 311 system is the single most important resource city residents can use to improve city services. For ANY municipal issue, from a pothole, to flooding issues, reporting downed trees etc, there are two options: (1) Call "311" on your phone, Monday through Friday from 7am to 7pm and report the issue to a human operator (2) Fill out the online form
Why is this important? It helps the City fully take advantage of Data-based systems in providing high quality municipal services. The more calls and reports filed, the more proactive the City departments can be in addressing problems.