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2/4/2009
Stoltz works with community leaders to cut Barley Mill redevelopment in half - Community News

By Jesse Chadderdon
Community News
Posted Feb 04, 2009 @ 08:35 AM

Greenville, Del. —

Stoltz Real Estate Partners, the firm set to redevelop DuPont’s Barley Mill Plaza site, announced Monday it is considering scaling back its plans for a mixed-use town center there.

Stoltz has told a group of civic leaders it is considering a 1.5 million-square-foot retail and office center that could also feature some residential units at the site on Lancaster Avenue and Rt. 141, in place of the 2.9 million-square-foot project it has filed with New Castle County.
The group postponed a Feb. 2 Planning Board hearing on the original Barley Mill plan, choosing instead to continue negotiations with the community, said spokesman Tom Gailey.

Stoltz, along with several civic organizations and the newly formed Citizens for Responsible Growth, sent a co-signed letter to New Castle County notifying it of the talks.

“We have had a series of productive meetings and dialogues with Stoltz regarding the specifics of the projects and the concerns of our members,” the letter said. “We greatly appreciate the open dialogue and constructive approach taken by Stoltz.”
The cooperation represents a sea change in the relationship between the developer and community, when just a few months ago, each side sent letters to county officials listing complaints about the other.

Key to that change, is Stoltz’ willingness to back off a “take it or leave it” approach to the scaled down version of the project. Initially, Stoltz indicated it would only pursue the 1.5-million-square-foot plan – which had the building heights capped at six stories instead of the 1 in the original version – in exchange for unilateral community support.

The new plan – which has yet to be filed with New Castle County – calls for about 300,000 square feet of retail space, with the other 1.2 million as office space, or a combination of office, residential and possibly a hotel.

“Today’s action by Stoltz Real Estate Partners is another positive step towards a solution to the redevelopment of Barley Mill Plaza that is responsive to community concerns while still maintaining the overall design and mix of uses proposed by Stoltz,” said Mark Chura, president of Delaware Greenways, a member organization of Citizens for Responsible Growth. “We applaud this decision by Stoltz and look forward to a continued constructive dialogue with them.”

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