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Proposed complex part of Claymont face-lift

By PETER BOTHUM / The News Journal

Trees, vines and bushes cover the corner of Governor Printz Boulevard and Philadelphia Pike in Claymont, but the owner of the property has plans to transform it into a gateway to the community's redevelopment project.

Scott Riegel of Riegel Properties LLC wants to build a 20,000-square-foot mixed commercial and office complex called Stockdale Plaza on the 1.3-acre property. If approved, the project would feature four commercial tenants on the first floor and office space on the second, said Riegel, president of the company.

Riegel's plan, expected to cost more than $4 million, is the latest building block in Claymont's effort to redevelop its main drag that stretches from Darley Road to the area near Yetters Super Discount Liquors at 3101 Philadelphia Pike.

"I very quickly realized that the community was moving in the right direction," Riegel said.

The effort, led by the Claymont Renaissance Development Corp. and New Castle County councilman Robert S. Weiner, is designed to give the strip a turn-of-the-century "Main Street" feel featuring two-level buildings that come up to the street.

Improvements so far include a new Dunkin' Donuts at 3224 Philadelphia Pike and a complete overhaul of the former Fish-O-Rama building at Seminole Avenue. Later this summer, Ladies Workout Express will move into a 1,500-square-foot space there and Primos Hoagies will take up 2,200 square feet.

Many property owners and Claymont real estate agents are waiting for the biggest piece of the puzzle: the finalization of Commonwealth Group's purchase and redevelopment of Claymont Shopping Center and Brookview Apartments, which will be turned into upscale condos, town houses and single-family homes.

That deal is central to the town's vision of a Claymont Town Center, said Brett Saddler, head of Claymont Renaissance. "People are waiting to find out more," Saddler said. "We have many interested investors looking at Claymont."

Retail tenants in Stockdale Plaza could include a hobby or craft shop, a specialty pet store, an ice cream shop or a coffee shop, Riegel said. The shops would cater to walk-up traffic with tables, chairs and walking paths made of brick and stone along the exterior. The retailers would mainly draw from nearby Rivercroft Apartments & Townhouses, which Riegel Properties bought last year.

"They would love the idea of walking up to the corner, getting a newspaper and getting some coffee," said Riegel. He would not say how much he paid for the Stockdale property.

Earlier this year, Wilson purchased the former Fish-O-Rama building and gave it a $1 million makeover that included replacing its bright yellow facade with brick.

A 2,200-square-foot space on the first floor is still available, and Wilson said he would like to fill it with an office or retail store. All four new loft apartments on the second floor have been rented, he said.

Biagio Scotto, who owns the Waterfall Banquet & Conference Center across from the Stockdale project, said future improvements to the town can only help his business.

"Fixing up the neighborhood is definitely a major plus," he said.
Contact Peter Bothum at 324-2428 or

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"Iíd like to express my appreciation to Councilman Bob Weiner who exhibits strength, determination and fortitude and is always on the side of the people. I followed Bobís actions when he was head of CCOBH's zoning committee and made strong efforts to try to stop the Brandywine Town Center construction. He has continued with energy and zeal in many pivotal positions in spite of enduring a lot of negative professional and personal attacks. I appreciate that he is never deterred."

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