Wednesday, July 22, 2020 – Wilmington developer, the Buccini/Pollin Group has been awarded the Northeast Sustainable Communities Award for the Wilmington Sports Complex located at 401 Garaches Lane on the east side of the Christina River. Known to many sports enthusiasts, the Fieldhouse is home to the 76ers’ G League affiliate, The Delaware Blue Coats and countless youth sports activities. Something less apparent is that the project is built on a Brownfield site. This achievement marks the first time a Delaware brownfield site has won the award from the Brownfield Coalition Of the Northeast (BCONE)
The award was virtually accepted by Megan M. McGlinchey, Executive Director of the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware (RDC) and Wilmington Sports Complex project partner during the 2020 Northeast Sustainable Communities Conference.
The facility is a 161,000 square-foot, 2,500 seat multipurpose sports complex and youth training center in an under-served area of Wilmington and the facility brings sporting opportunities to the community provided by BPG ǀ Sports, Sports Medicine provided by Nemours Sports Medicine and elite services provided by Titus Sports Academy. The facility has three professional size basketball courts and an international size indoor and outdoor soccer field. The facility hosts sporting events including elite level tournaments, events to raise funds for local nonprofits, open court time for all age groups which often include some of the Delaware Blue Coats players participating, and concerts.
The property was a vacant brownfield site and as a result of the prior use both soil and groundwater contamination were present on the property and the adjacent ditch which drains to the Christina River. The remediation of the environmental issues on the site is designed to improve the quality of storm-water and groundwater flowing from the site into the Christina River and the South Wilmington Wetland project. The South Wilmington Wetland project is currently being remediated to establish a wetland park and a storm-water storage area. Development of the Sports Complex also resulted in land previously prone to flooding being raised out of the flood plain making the site resilient to future flooding issues.
As a part of the redevelopment of the site, a new road project created access to the building and now links the site to the west site of the Christina river providing a multi-modal system to connect the under-served community with the amenities of the redeveloped Wilmington Riverfront, including an urban wildlife refuge. After the Sports Complex was constructed, a new 300 unit apartment complex was announced in the same area, suggesting as planned, the Sports Complex has been a great catalyst for the redevelopment of the east side of the Wilmington Riverfront.