Riverside in Wilmington rolls out big plans

State, county and local officials Tuesday joined REACH Riverside Development Corporation and the Wilmington Housing Authority (WHA) to celebrate future plans for the Riverside community in Wilmington.

“Today’s wonderful news follows years of research, planning and development by the City, WHA, community leaders and Riverside residents, all of whom recognize that it is time to invest in an inclusive, holistic manner to make Riverside a neighborhood of opportunity for all of its current and future residents.” said Mayor Mike Purzycki.

Riverside has been designated the 19th Purpose Built Community in the U.S. The status is granted by the nonprofit Purpose Built Communities, a consulting firm that works with community groups to plan revitalization efforts. The firm will support a series of future development projects.

Under the Purpose Built model, REACH Riverside will work in partnership with community members and other partners to develop and implement strategies for a cradle-to-college or career education pipeline, mixed-income housing and a community health and wellness initiative.

The initiative also includes 400 new units of high-quality, mixed-income housing, the enhancement and expansion of Kingswood Community Center’s Early Childhood education program, the addition of a high school to the East Side Charter School’s current pre-K through grade 8, and the expansion of the Kingswood Community Center facility to greatly increase access by Riverside residents to health and wellness services.

“We want to make sure that everyone in Wilmington and across our state has an opportunity to succeed, and contribute to Delaware’s success,” said Gov. John Carney. “Investing in our communities will help us achieve that goal. I want to thank Mayor Purzycki and all of the community leaders involved for their leadership on this important initiative.”

Purpose Built services, which are provided at no cost, are tailored to each community’s needs and the dynamics of the neighborhood they are working to revitalize. With a goal of breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty, Purpose Built uses best practices to guide neighborhood revitalization by creating pathways out of poverty for the lowest-income residents.

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