WILMINGTON — After more than 10-years of waiting, the City of Wilmington is once again prepared to declare the property located at 1110 Castle Street as surplus and begin the sale process of the former WAVE Transit center.
In 2007, the city passed a resolution with the intention of donating the property to the Wilmington Southside Community Development Corporation (CDC) — but after that group failed to come up with any concrete plans for the property the city started discussing alternatives in August of 2018.
Related: After years without a proposal from community group, Wilmington considers selling Castle Street facility
Now, it appears the brewing company Tru Colors is hoping to purchase the property from the city.
“Wilmington, we need your help! TRU Colors wants to buy the old bus depot on 11th and Castle from the City. If we do, we will be bringing 100 great jobs, diversity, and opportunity, and a decrease in violence. Show your support for TRU Colors coming to Castle Street by putting your name on the list,” according to an online petition from Tru Colors.
Founder George Taylor told WECT that he hopes to build TRU Colors’ brewery on Castle Street, apparently abandoning plans to start construction on property he leased in Dutch Square near the intersection of Market Street and Gordon Road.
But Tru Colors and the CDC are not the only ones with a desire for the property; in November, Councilman Paul Lawler asked for the item to be removed from the consent agenda.
“The Historic Wilmington Foundation has expressed interest in this property and has a proposal they would like to bring,” Lawler said before requesting the item be postponed until January of 2019.
Historic Wilmington Foundation (HWF) Executive Director Beth Rutledge said, “Above all, our goal for the old Wave Transit site is that the buildings are preserved and reused. We do not want the structures torn down and a dollar store going up.”
Rutledge added that HWF hopes the site is “cleaned up and preserved, and becomes a community asset that serves the neighborhood for years to come.”
During an agenda briefing in November, Mayor Pro Temp Margaret Haynes issued council words of caution regarding the sale of the property to the highest bidder.
“I just want to make sure that we understand that if we sell it to the highest bidder that we are losing any kind of control of making sure that there is at least some percentage of that property that is used in service and support of that community,” she said.
Haynes said she wanted to clarify that if the city put the property up for bid, it would be getting into a bidding war for the property to hopefully make some money, but would lose any say in the property’s fate.
Michael Praats can be reached at Michael.P@Localvoicemedia.com