Top: Residents enjoy a community pool and rooftop garden. Above: A commercial container village is coming to the South Front District,
located adjacent to a walk up taco stand in a section of the Block Shirt Factory warehouse.
HE CONCRETE FLOORS are also original.
In some spaces, there’s a reminder that it used to
be a factory floor.
“If you go in a unit, you might see a big yel-low
line running through,” McDonough says.
Converting a factory into apartments allowed
for more creativity than at Nesbitt Courts, but
presented a different set of challenges because
of additions over the years.
“The Block building is interesting,” Harris says. “It’s three dis-tinct
buildings. The original was built in the 1880s, the last one
in the 1950s. We were not constrained to the number of apart-ments.
But each separate building has different window heights and
Original factory walls and ceilings are a feature of the pizzeria
next door, as well. The restaurant was built in what had been ware-house
At the top of the street, another historic building is being pre-served.
Tribute is converting a 100-year-old woodframe house
into a bakery/coffee shop that will be run by PinPoint pastry chef
It would have been cheaper to bulldoze the building and build
from scratch than to renovate, but Maynard’s preservation instincts
kicked in again.
“That’s a great example of a classic modest home built in that
era,” he says.
Tribute has more plans for the area. A commercial container vil-lage
is going up between South Front II and the pizzeria. The old
Capps Industrial Supply building at the bottom of the street will
house a few tenants, possibly including a grocery store.
“It was run-down. It was not a part of town anybody would want
to go to,” Espy says. “An old shirt factory has become the only loft
apartments in town. They have modern amenities and retain the
character, a little bit of the grunge. Wilmington has gone though
periods of teardown, but not now. Now it’s about being preserva-tionist
first, preserving the past. It’s about enjoying the history.”
WBM may 2018