Wilmington, Delaware is experiencing a period of change mirroring that of numerous cities across the country, where there is renewed interest in spending time downtown after the workday has ended. In Wilimington, revitalization efforts have focused on ten full blocks along Market Street, attempting to breathe new life into the city’s most historic commercial corridor.
The revival of the Queen Theater, in particular, is expected to provide compelling reasons for Wilmington’s large working community to venture out to Market Street. A previously prominent venue, the Queen Theater has sat empty for nearly five decades and endured several failed renovation attempts under the threat of demolition. Fortunately, the building was acquired and given another chance.
The $33.9 million redevelopment of the Queen Theater brings together a strong developer in the Buccini Pollin Group and a qualified operator in World Cafe Live. Once returned to her glory, this 45,000 square foot theater venue will provide arts, entertainment, and educational programs to the local community. Musical offerings will include both national and local names, with a special emphasis placed on cultivating local artists. The project will create more than 260 construction jobs and up to 50 full time jobs.
This project is being financed using New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) and Historic Tax Credits. The NMTC transaction involves multiple NMTC allocatees, a TRF first, including TRF, Consortium Capital and City First Bank. US Bank is the New Markets and Historic Tax Credit equity investor. The total New Markets and Historic Tax Credit equity created for the project is over $8.6 million.