Workshops to detail Claymont revitalization plan
Residents can hear plans for redesign
By ANGIE BASIOUNY / The News Journal
Residents of the soon-to-be-sold Brookview Apartments in Claymont are still waiting to learn who the buyer will be for the low-income complex considered the centerpiece of the community's renaissance.
In the meantime, they've been invited to a series of public workshops next week devoted to redevelopment design.
The unnamed prospective buyer has hired Torti Gallas and Partners, a Silver Spring, Md. architecture firm, to conduct workshops to acquaint residents with the concepts behind Traditional Neighborhood Design.
The award-winning company is a pioneer of the style, which builds pedestrian-friendly communities that include shops, restaurants and walking paths.
"It's where people can do the kinds of things they used to do before cars were invented, before suburban sprawl," said New Castle County Councilman Robert Weiner, who has helped lead the five-year revitalization effort. "Live, shop, work, play, pray and school -- this is my mantra."
The redesign also will incorporate some of the historic elements found in Claymont's old schools and buildings, and create scenic portals to the nearby Delaware River, Weiner said.
The complex, which has about 450 tenants, was put on the market for $31 million and a buyer has been identified but not confirmed. County officials said they are willing to offer several incentives -- including allowing for higher density, a streamlined re-zoning process and possible tax breaks -- to the developer if approved design guidelines are adopted.
Brookview was a model community when it opened in 1952, but has fallen into severe disrepair. Residents complain of problems with mold, insects, rats, vandalism, crime and maintenance problems.
Several residents formed the Brookview Tenants Council to safeguard their interests. Council President Zelma Gary said the group received their workshop invitation Friday.
"The tenants council sees it as a significant first step to becoming involved in the redevelopment process," said Gary, who said she plans to be at the Wednesday workshop.
Contact Angie Basiouny at 324-2796 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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