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Barley Mill Plaza redevelopment plan Public Hearing Tuesday July 1 - Community News

Barley Mill Plaza redevelopment plan unveiled

Barley Mill
By Jesse Chadderdon
Community News
Posted Jun 26, 2008 @ 01:13 PM
Last update Jun 26, 2008 @ 03:40 PM

Greenville, Del. —

Greenville residents got their first look Wednesday at a $525 million redevelopment proposal for a mixed-use center at the DuPont Barley Mill Plaza site.

The plan, being proposed by Stoltz Realty Partners, a Bryn Mawr, Pa. developer, calls for a 2.9 million-square-foot village on the site that includes residences, office space, shops, restaurants and a hotel.
The buildings would range in height from single-story retail centers fronting Route 141 to interior mixed-use buildings ranging from 5-10 stories.

Some of the taller buildings would be strictly designated for office use, while others – located along an interior “Main Street,” would feature shops and restaurants on the ground floor and either residential or office units in the floors above.
“We want to create the feel of a scaleable, accessible pedestrian promenade,” said Brad Coburn, managing director of Stoltz Real Estate Partners.

Some surface parking would be available for the retail outlets, while parking decks wrapped by the taller buildings would predominantly house the cars of residents and workers.

In total, the plan for the 96-acre site calls for 1.48 million square-feet of office space, 731,250-square-feet of retail space, and 738,150-square-feet of residential space, which would be divided among roughly 700 apartment and condominium style units.

Stoltz officials presented the plans to about 20 people at a meeting at the Odyssey Charter School organized by Councilman William Tansey, whose district includes Barley Mill. A separate meeting, previously scheduled by Councilman Robert Weiner, was attended by nearly 200 people at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine.

Residents at the meetings shared similar concerns: How much additional traffic would this bring? What about the tall buildings that would be “towering over” our communities of Westover Hills, Westpark and Westhaven? What about noise and light pollution?
Because the plan is still in its exploratory stage, traffic studies have yet to be completed. Attorney Pam Scott said that work is in its early stages.

“We’ve just started some of the traffic counts and we have a number of other studies we’re going to be doing,” she said. “Some changes to this are likely based on what we hear from the county.”

Scott also said that because the property is currently zoned for office, 10-story buildings could already be built there.

Some residents called for walls along the property line to help keep noise pollution out, while others asked for deed restrictions that would limit businesses from being open late at night.

Fairthorne resident Linda Tabeling said she was concerned the developer could pull a bait-and-switch and end up just building a large retail center without the other components.
“I seem to remember the Brandywine Town Center being proposed in this kind of way and we ended up with a bunch of big box stores,” she said.

Debi Diver of Westover Hills said she just thought the project was too much.

“I could get on board with some of it, but all of this just seems like a lot,” she said.
Weiner, who provided residents with a brief overview of the plan, encouraged them to testify at a July 1 Planning Board hearing where the plan is scheduled to be reviewed.

“One might argue logically that nine and 10 story buildings are not compatible with the residential character of the surrounding communities,” he said. “What we can’t say is we don’t need this project or we don’t want it or that there are other retailers in the area that would be cannibalized by this project. It may be true, but it’s not a legal argument based on the code.”

Planning Board Hearing
Barley Mill Plaza redevelopment
July 1, 7:00 p.m.
77 Reads Way, New Castle

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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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