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Military reserve center at Greenfield Lake would become transitional housing for homeless (updated)

PortCityDaily.com is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

An appropriation from the city to cover demolition costs at an old surplus military facility between Greenfield Lake and Legion Stadium would make way for a plan to redevelop the site for “supportive permanent transitional” housing for the homeless.

Wilmington City Council tonight will consider approving $40,000 to cover the bill for razing the existing structures at 2144 W. Lake Shore Drive, the Adrian B. Rhodes Armed Forces Reserve Center. Information accompanying the request notes the city put aside $70,000 previously, but the demolition bids came in higher than expected.

The Rhodes Center. Photo by Ben Brown.

The vacated Rhodes Center. Photo by Ben Brown.

“The city is required to demolish the building to make way for Lakeside Partners’ future development of 24 transitional housing units for the homeless,” says the city’s communications office. Associated information describes Lakeside Partners as a “local consortium of providers whose mission is to serve the homeless population of our region.” It is a collaboration of Good Shepherd Ministries, Wilmington Housing Finance and Development and the Wilmington Interfaith Hospitality Network.

The City of Wilmington’s role is as the federally recognized “local redevelopment authority” handing the property off to the proper party.

Federal requirements of the plan are per the Base Closure Community Redevelopment and Homeless Assistance Act (BCCRHA) of 1994, “designed to accommodate the impacted communities’ multiple interests in base reuse and to meet the national priority to assist homeless individuals and families,” program literature states.

“Since military bases often contain a significant number of housing units, warehouses, office space, and other buildings that can be excellent locations for homeless services and housing, base closures can be a great resource for providers,” says the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

The Rhodes Center was first built in 1955, expanded in 1976 and today consists of three buildings–the largest the 22,581-square-foot administration and training facility–along with a vehicle wash rack all on 4-plus acres of land.

The property is bounded on the south and east by Legion Stadium, on the north by Greenfield Lake and on the west by the Woodlawn subdivision.

A 2010 agreement between the city and Lakeside described a layout of residential design to include two single-story duplexes of permanent supportive housing for families with children; two two-story quadriplexes of permanent supportive housing for individuals and a unit for live-in support staff; three two-story quadriplexes (two with one bedroom per unit, one with two bedrooms per unit) for individuals and a unit for live-in support staff; and a single-story building for shared office space, common space, laundry facilities and storage.

A 2006 writeup on a version of the plan noted the property is not far from public transportation routes and offices of the Department of Social Services, the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Wilmington Housing Authority and the Social Security Administration.

The current effort follows an initial one from the city to see the site used by Girls Inc., Elderhaus Inc. and the city’s parks and recreation department. The federal government rejected that plan per BCCRHA.

The city council meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the chambers at Wilmington City Hall, 102 N. Third St.

Click here for the full agenda.

Check back after tonight’s meeting for additional details.

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Posted by on September 17, 2013. Filed under Local News,Wilmington. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

6 Responses to Military reserve center at Greenfield Lake would become transitional housing for homeless (updated)

  1. chaz Reply

    September 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    This is the worst idea ever. So much for trying to clean up the park! Put something like this near the airport or waste water treatment facility, not in a prime location for future development or where people want to exercise and play with their families and not be panhandeled or worse!!!! WHAT A WASTE! BOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  2. Steverino Reply

    September 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    It will be great for the area to have housing built on this site. Right now, it is overgrown and unguarded — a great place for sketchy people to hang out. Quality housing along the lake side will greatly enhance the area’s safety and beauty. From past articles I have read about this project, my understanding is that it is not transitional housing, but permanent housing for people who were formerly homeless.

    • Jeff Reply

      September 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Steverino,

      You are correct.

  3. Jeff Reply

    September 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Chaz,

    Sadly, you don’t understand the concept of transitional housing. I suggest that you take a tour of the Good Shepherd Center and see what it is they do. They do a lot more than just feed the homeless. I guess you may be one of those “not in my backyard” individuals who are in favor of the program, but not near you.

  4. chaz Reply

    September 18, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Didn’t we just see an article (may have been star news) where it was stated that one of the reason’s Wilmington has such relatively large homeless population is that we are “too nice” or “suportive” of homeless?
    I’m not against the project, just the location. I think it’s too nice (maybe not currently, but the potential is there. Why not put the project on a golf course or intra-coastal waterway? Because people would have a fit…

    That area should be built up for its best possible use. In my opinion that is Middle class homes or condos, possibly even retirement villas, that sell for $180-250k depending on the development.

    If you put this project there, there will be even less incentive to build up that neighborhood… NIMBY comes to mind…

  5. bob dobalina Reply

    September 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Agree with chaz…. Greenfield lake is beautiful and one of the few places in Wilmington you can interact with nature (Ill laugh if you say the beach)… Just what my property values need…. Thanks… And Im sure some of the backers of this plan wouldn’t want this over by their gated communities… Homeless people in our area… who are mostly camping in the woods near medical center drive go through our trash and leave it out on the ground on recycling day, they cause a fire that threatens nearby homes every six months or so… oh yes and then theres the regular car break ins that Im sure are not related…. thanks again for the great idea… how about we build an employment training center and require people work…

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