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9/28/2016
How would you change Concord Pike? - News Journal

How would you change Concord Pike?
 
Xerxes Wilson, The News Journal 11:22 a.m. EDT September 28, 2016

Local land planners are looking for public input on how U.S. 202 should change in the coming decades.

New Castle County, the Wilmington Area Planning Council and a consultant are beginning a master plan of the heavily trafficked corridor, which connects Wilmington to Pennsylvania.

The plan will deal with both the physical appearance of businesses along the corridor as well as the ease of transportation in and around the area, county officials said.

“We are asking area residents for their comments and involvement to ensure this plan protects our neighborhoods while moving to improve transportation, revitalize the area’s economy, create jobs and make the area more bikeable and walkable,” County Executive Thomas P. Gordon said in a written statement.

The corridor is along one of Delaware's "first generation" suburbs and while it is largely developed, many spots are primed for redevelopment and nearby residential areas could be better connected, said Dan Blevins, principal planner for WILMAPCO. 

Blevins said the plan will focus largely on the interconnectivity of the corridor instead of major changes like widening Concord Pike.
 
 
U.S. 202 is the subject of a new masterplan to shape future development in the area. (Photo: SUCHAT PEDERSON/The News Journal/)

"We will look at it holistically with moving people along the corridor and also within it," Blevins said. 

That could involve seeing how neighborhood roads could be more connected, a concept that particularly benefits pedestrian and bicycle traffic but is opposed by some residents. 

Approximately, 50,000 people live between Kennett Pike and Interstate 95 north of Wilmington. The area has seen a slight decline in population in recent years, Blevins said.

Wilmington University is planning to build a new campus on a 41-acre cornfield at Beaver Valley Road and Concord Pike. 

Buccini/Pollin Group is seeking approval to revamp the Concord Plaza office complex near Silverside Road. They want to build about 300 luxury apartments over restaurants, cafes and stores as well as a new office building at the complex.
 
 
Redevelopment of Concord Plaza, a large office complex off Silverside Road in Brandywine Hundred is in the planning stages. (Photo: SUCHAT PEDERSON/THE NEWS JOURNAL)

A developer has also said he intends to build homes and apartments on the Brandywine Country Club property off Concord Pike although no plans have been filed with the county. 

"It is not like your typical corridor," Blevins said. "There is some new growth but there is the opportunity for redevelopment in that corridor." 

The master plan process will take at least several months to complete and is similar to other efforts studying roads like Del. 141. The result could mean changes to New Castle County's development rules for the area as well as suggested changes to public transit. 

In the coming months, the county will schedule public meetings to gather input on the plan. Residents can share their thoughts by email to lugm@nccde.org or in letters to U.S. 202/Concord Pike Plan, in care of the New Castle County Department of Land Use, 87 Read’s Way, New Castle, DE 19720.

Contact Xerxes Wilson at (302) 324-2787 or xwilson@delawareonline.com. Follow @Ber_Xerxes on Twitter.

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3/26/2018
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  New Castle County Councilman Bob Weiner: 'I feel duped' over Wilmington University's treatment of historic barn
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