The Wilmington DRIVE’s mission is to enhance and help accelerate Wilmington’s downtown revitalization, encourage creative adaptive re-use and mixed-use development, and reduce the financial barriers to investing in the community’s urban core, while preserving strategic, historic, and significant real estate assets that help define the urban fabric of downtown.
The DRIVE program is designed to facilitate new private sector investment, generating new job creation and downtown housing opportunities, adding market opportunities for existing and prospective retail, dining, entertainment, and service businesses in the community. The initial round of funding for the program was provided by the City of Wilmington, Clinton County Board of Commissioners, and the Community Improvement Corporation of Wilmington. The Clinton County Port Authority is responsible for managing the Wilmington DRIVE program on behalf of the funding partners.
Images courtsey of the Clinton County History Center.
Masonic Building Project FAQs
Who has purchased the Masonic Building?
The Port Authority was able to purchase the Masonic Building through funds provided by the DRIVE program partners. The DRIVE program is a downtown real estate redevelopment program run by the Port Authority as the result of a partnership between the Clinton County Port Authority, the City of Wilmington, the Clinton County Commissioners, and the CIC of Wilmington.
What is Wilmington DRIVE I, LLC?
Wilmington DRIVE I, LLC is a limited liability company whose sole member is the Clinton County Port Authority. The LLC was set up to acquire the Masonic Building.
Why is the Port Authority acquiring the Masonic Building?
The Port Authority is acquiring the Masonic Building to gain site control to ensure that redevelopment plans for the revitalization of the building serve the best and highest use to meet the needs of the community in a way that is consistent with the historic downtown.
What due diligence was conducted in conjunction with the acquisition of the Masonic Building?
The Port Authority conducted extensive due diligence on the Masonic Building before its acquisition, including, but not limited to: a Property Conditions Assessment, a Phase I Environmental, a property survey, etc.
Will the Port Authority be redeveloping the Masonic Building on its own?
The Port Authority will work to maintain the Masonic Building during the redevelopment and revitalization planning process. The Port Authority plans to transfer ownership and site control to an entity, or group of entities, that will carry out the actual rehabilitation and redevelopment of the Masonic Building.
Is there space available in the Masonic Building right now?
No. The Masonic Building does not have space available as the long-term plan is to revitalize and rehabilitate the site, and while that planning and rehabilitation work continues, no tenants will occupy the site. After the planning period, the new owners will create a plan for occupancy.
What is the plan for the Masonic Building?
Initial maintenance to stabilize the Masonic Building will begin immediately, and will be continued through the planning period while potential partners and long-term redevelopers and owners are identified. The Port Authority has received an initial planning grant from JobsOhio to gauge the feasibility of a rural Innovation Hub in Clinton County as the first focus for the Masonic Building’s revitalization. Wilmington College has agreed to provide a study that will evaluate development of the Masonic Building for multiple uses, including education, workforce development, and general commerce.
What’s next for DRIVE?
While the DRIVE program encompasses a geographic area in downtown Wilmington, the focus of the program, at the moment, is the substantial work behind redeveloping the Masonic Building as a key component of the revitalization of the entire historic downtown.