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9/29/2008
Kennett Pike Assoc community meeting to share strategies for fighting the 4 Stoltz development proposals - Community News

Public has more chances to sound off on Stoltz proposals

By Jesse Chadderdon
Community News
Posted Sep 29, 2008 @ 02:03 PM
Greenville, Del. —

For the second consecutive week, a local civic group will hold a community meeting focused on the Stoltz Management Company’s Northern New Castle County development plans.

On Thursday, The Kennett Pike Association (KPA) will share with residents its strategy for fighting the four development proposals along the U.S. 202 and Route 141 corridor – plans KPA President Richard Beck has said would cause gridlock in the area. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine.

The projects in question include:

• Barley Mill Plaza – a 2.9 million square-foot mixed-use redevelopment project at the former DuPont site, which will be roughly 50 percent office, 25 percent commercial and 25 percent residential.

• Shops at Brandywine Valley – a 528,000 square-foot town center at the southwest corner of U.S. 202 and Beaver Valley Road, which will including a hotel, 87 residential units and a commercial “Main Street.”

• Greenville Center – a 78,000 square-foot expansion of the existing strip center on Kennett Pike which includes a 12-story tower consisting primarily of residential and office uses, with retail on the ground floor.

• 20 Montchanin Road – the addition of a 36,500 square-foot office building along Montchanin Road at the former Columbia Gas and MBNA site and the construction of new parking at the existing 135,000 square-foot office building there. An October 7 planning board hearing will be held on the proposal. A change in deed restrictions would be required for the building.

Beck, joining with other area civic leaders, has called on the Delaware Department of Transportation to undertake a regional traffic study of the corridor.

But Stoltz has responded that it is far too early in the process to be discussing traffic, since its own traffic analysis has yet to even be completed. New Castle County does not require traffic analysis to be completed until after the initial exploratory stage of its land use approval process. Stoltz will not make a presentation at the KPA meeting.

At a meeting last week of the Council of Civic Organizations of Brandywine Hundred (CCOBH) that focused on the Shops at Brandywine Valley proposal, Stoltz officials shied away from questions about traffic. In fact, CCOBH president Charles Landry agreed prior to the meeting that traffic would not be discussed.

Landry, along with New Castle County Civic League President Dan Bockover, joined Beck in calling for the regional traffic study.

Pamela Scott, the land use attorney representing Stoltz on its New Castle County projects, said without the analysis completed, it would be conjecture to anticipate the kind of effect the projects would have on area traffic.

The roughly 40 people who attended the meeting instead asked questions about the need for another commercial center along Concord Pike.

Brad Coburn, managing director for Stoltz, said collectively the projects would create as many as 8,000 permanent jobs, while generating $14 million in annual real estate tax revenue for the county.

He said each proposal is consistent with the kind of mixed-use development the county’s comprehensive plan encourages.

“This type of retail is not represented along [U.S.] 202,” he said. “If I came in with strip retail, I’d agree that it’s just more of the same.”

The center could be anchored by a Whole Foods organic grocery store, with smaller boutique-style retailers along the internal “Main Street,” officials said.

One resident seemed to indicate she like the conceptual plan, but thought it was more than Concord Pike could support.

“If you got rid of this,” she said, pointing to the Concord Mall on the map. “This would be a lot more attractive.”

KENNETT PIKE ASSOCIATION
A public Meeting on four Greenville-area land use proposals
Thursday, October 2, 6 p.m.
St. Joseph's on the Brandywine, 8 Old Church Rd., Wilmington
NEW CASTLE COUNTY PLANNING BOARD
A public hearing on the  proposed construction  of a 36,500 square-foot office building at 20 Montchanin Road
Tuesday, October 7, 7 p.m.
James H. Gilliam Building, 77 Reads Way, New Castle

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