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9/23/2008
Civic group hosting meeting on Stoltz proposed Concord Pike center - Community News

By Jesse Chadderdon
Community News
Sep 23, 2008 @ 10:51 AM

Brandywine Hundred, Del. —

With the working relationship between community leaders and the Stoltz organization showing signs of fraying, a Brandywine Hundred civic group is holding a public meeting Thursday to review the developer’s proposal for a 364,000-square-foot mixed-use center at the southwest corner of Concord Pike and Beaver Valley Road.

The meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at Talley Middle School, will be the latest in a series of community forums where the project – and its 2.9-million-square-foot counterpart proposed for the Barley Mill Plaza site on Rt. 141 – will be discussed. Those meetings were largely civil in nature, but a recent letter sent by community leaders to state transportation officials has Stoltz crying foul.

The biggest pushback from the community has been over traffic, so much so that civic leaders sent an August 21 letter to the Delaware Department of Transportation urging it to undertake a regional traffic study of the Concord Pike/141 corridor that considers the total impact of the Stoltz projects (there are two other smaller proposals in Greenville).

That letter, signed by the presidents of the Civic League for New Castle County, the Council of Civic Organizations of Brandywine Hundred and the Kennett Pike Association, was followed by a similar request of the Wilmington Area Planning Council from New Castle County Councilman Robert Weiner on September 10.
 
Both letters compared the Barley Mill site to the Christiana and King of Prussia malls.

That prompted a four-page response to New Castle County Council from Stoltz Chief Executive Officer Keith Stoltz, urging patience as the plans advance through the land use process.

“There has been a great deal of speculation regarding traffic from our projects,” he wrote in the September 12 letter. “That is unfortunate because we have not even completed our analysis. We ask that the development process be given a chance to work the way it is designed, as it has already…We certainly reject the groundless charges made about the impact of our projects. These will be first-rate efforts New Castle County will be proud of.”

Stoltz said that while the overall size of the Barley Mill project rivaled King of Prussia, the retail space proposed there was about one-quarter of the size of Christiana Mall. Office and residential uses would make up the bulk of that site.

“Both the Shops at Brandywine Valley and Barley Mill Plaza…will create walkable, village-like communities where Delaware residents can enjoy time with family and friends,” he wrote. “Despite what has been charged, neither project will be a regional destination drawing numerous out-of-state residents.”

The Council of Civic Organizations of Brandywine Hundred host a community meeting on the proposed Shops of Brandywine Valley
7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 25
Talley Middle School, 1110 Cypress Rd., Wilmington
Also: A presentation by the Woodlawn Trustees on its strategic plan for its Brandywine Valley land holdings.

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