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Greenville residents sound-off on Barley Mill proposal - Community News

Barley Mill
By Jesse Chadderdon
Community News
Posted Jul 02, 2008 @ 09:55 AM

New Castle, Del. —
Greenville-area residents turned out in force Tuesday to speak out against a proposed $525 million mixed-use village at the DuPont Barley Mill Plaza site – the single largest development plan in the history of New Castle County.

Residents told the county’s Planning Board that their quality of life would be severely altered if the 2.9 million-square-foot town center was approved as proposed – with office, residential and retail components spread throughout 29 buildings, more than half of which would range from 5 to 11 stories tall.

The plan, being proposed by Stoltz Realty Partners, a Bryn Mawr, Pa. developer, calls for a mixed-use village on the site that includes residences, offices, shops, restaurants, a cinema and a hotel.

Single story retail units would front Rt. 141, while the taller buildings – whose upper floors would be designated for office and residential use – would be located along an interior “Main Street” would feature shops and restaurants on the ground floors.

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, 738,150-square-feet of residential space, which would be divided among roughly 700 apartment and condominium style units.

More than 100 residents, many from the prestigious communities of Westover Hills, Westhaven and West Park, attended the hearing, with those testifying calling the tall buildings inconsistent with the residential nature of the surrounding area.
“I moved here because it’s a safe, quiet community,” said Westover Hills resident Jeff Schlerf. “This proposal is a threat to why I and others chose to live here.”

Max Levy, who lives in Anglesey, went even further.

“It looks like New York City for God’s sake,” he said of the plan. “I don’t want to live in New York City. I want to live in Wilmington, Delaware for the rest of my life.”

Chris McEvely, also of Westover Hills, compared the proposal to the Christiana Mall and said she believed traffic resulting from the project would bottleneck area roadways.

“This would completely overtax our transportation infrastructure,” she said. “[Rt.] 141 is not I-95 and the Christiana Mall is on I-95.”

Others said the were concerned about noise and light pollution, with some calling for the erection of sound barriers and other asking for the planting of additional trees to buffer the property lines.

Rickard Beck, president of the Kennett Pike Association, said that if the plan was found to meet all applicable code requirements and is approved, that the county should insist that the building is phased in such away that the ratio of retail, office and residential space is not adjusted.

Attorney Pam Scott said the project would likely be built in phases over a 10 year period, but said Stoltz was committed to building all components of the plan. She said that because the plan was only in its early stages, many specific questions posed by the community could not yet be answered.

“When we come back to the board for the preliminary plan, we will be able to address all the concerns we heard here this evening,” she said.


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