A developer hopes to renovate former ice distribution warehouse damaged by fire
WILMINGTON — As available construction sites become harder to come by in the City of Wilmington developers are turning to revitalization projects, also known as “infill” projects — one such project that is being proposed to the city is the redevelopment of the Independent Ice House property located on Peacock Lane in the city’s Northside neighborhood.
Located at 614 Peacock Lane sits a vacant building that was damaged by a fire several years ago. The building, located on a private drive between North 6th and North 7th streets, was constructed in the early 1900s and sits along Wilmington’s original rail line; its purpose was to house and distribute ice to the community.
Now, developers are hoping to renovate the existing building and turn the property into multi-family housing.
According to the applicant, “The unique brick structure has remained vacant for many years, and following a fire several years ago, is in danger of demolition without the requested re-zoning, which will allow for multi-family use.”
The request will require a conditional district rezoning since the current zoning for the property is R-3 which does not allow for multi-family residential construction.
In fact, according to the application, “The only viable re-development of the property would involve demolition of the existing structure to and sub-division of the then-vacant lot. This would mean the loss of the unique historic and character-defining structure within the neighborhood.”
Multi-family housing in the area that is currently mostly single-family residential units would provide an opportunity for residents unable to own a home to live in the area, according to the request.
The building itself is a brick structure constructed of 20-inch thick masonry, it is 44-feet tall and has limited exterior openings. If approved, the renovation would include the construction of three new floors of apartments, two on each floor for a total of six units.
“The new construction will be wood framed and provide stabilization the existing historic brick exterior walls. New openings will be cut into the existing walls as required for the new residential use,” according to the application.
As with all requests, the applicants must prove that their request will not endanger or negatively impact the surrounding neighborhood. In this case, the developer says that allowing the construction will enhance the area as well as alleviate a public nuisance from “the homeless and vandals.”
The request is on the Planning Commission’s list of upcoming events for May.
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