The Wilmington Housing Authority had planned to knock down the abandoned Nesbit Courts housing complex on the city's south side, but one developer is proposing a different idea. The Nesbit Courts housing complex was built almost a hundred years ago and while the buildings clearly need some work, SDI construction says the structures are worth saving. The complex has been empty for more than a year. The Wilmington Housing Authority has submitted several proposals to revitalize the Nesbit Courts housing complex, but due to near by fuel tanks and a railroad that runs right next to the property so far the proposals have been denied. However, Beth Pancoe, president of SDI Construction, said there could be many advantages to using what's already there. “The outside is brick and the inside is cinder block, so it already gives you a 12-inch wall, which is wonderful for heating and cooling.” It could cost nearly $2 million to knock down the buildings at Nesbit Courts to make way for new ones. WHA chairman Bo Dean said he is excited by the prospect of fixing up the existing buildings. “We're able to really tell a story now about the possibility, not only of rebuilding that particular place, but also possibly even revitalizing it.” Still the WHA will consider selling the property to a private buyer and will submit a new federal application for funding. Neighbors of Nesbit Courts said they'd like to see the properties reopened, but before that happens, they want to see improvements so that it's safe for residents of all ages. One such neighbor, Thomas Brown, said, “I like to see them clean it up make it look better, just like they did over here at Taylor Homes. I think the kids should have someplace to play, where it's safe to live, and just feel comfortable.” Pancoe said she believes that opening up the existing homes and adding a personal touch will help future residents take pride in their homes, but for the time being the property will remain as is.
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