On December 3, 2019, more than 150 people attended a public meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to learn about economic progress in northern Claymont, Delaware, which is situated near the state’s border with Pennsylvania.
The panel, hosted by the Claymont Renaissance Development Corporation, included representatives from the Delaware Transit Corporation, the Wilmington Area Planning Council, the CRDC and Commercial Development Corporation.
There was much to discuss, including a new train station and office park, biking and walking trails, and a possible residential area.
“A lot of great questions were asked. I was pleased to be there and see the interaction,” said New County Councilman John Cartier.
Claymont has long been prized for its location near interstates, railways and the Delaware River. The new train station, which is currently under construction, is slated to open in 2022. “This will be a state-of-the-art commuter rail station that will drive redevelopment in the whole north Claymont zone,” Cartier said.
The access to Amtrak’s Northeast corridor and SETPA Regional Rail service is attractive to businesses. Commercial Development Company (CDC), which now owns the leveled Evraz Claymont Steel property, has filed an exploratory plan with New Castle County to build an office park adjacent to the train station.
For commuters, Claymont's location is a plus, and the area has a mix of housing options, from old manor homes with river views to apartments. More recently, buyers have had the choice of new construction in Darley Green.
Just minutes from I-95 and I-495, Darley Green blends townhomes and apartments with the new Claymont Public Library and retail space. The community is 75% built out, Cartier reported at the CRDC meeting at the library on Dec. 4. “It’s a milestone; the project is near completion.”
Seeing the popularity of Darley Green, CDC has considered developing a 1,200-unit residential project of townhomes and apartments. At the CRDC meeting, Cartier and Brett Saddler, executive director of the public-private CRDC, stressed that CDC had not filed a proposal.
Both residents and visitors will soon have more to do in their own backyard. Hangman Brewing Company is nearly ready to open near the intersection of Harvey Road and Philadelphia Pike, Saddler said.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the Wilmington Area Planning Council, a regional transportation agency, is conducting studies to make Governor Printz Boulevard more pedestrian-friendly. According to Saddler, the goal is to connect the former steel mill and train station sites with Bellevue State Park and Fox Point State Park to the north and, therefore, create a link with the Northern Delaware Greenway.
“This is exciting for people who like to bike and walk,” he said. “It will be safe and aesthetically pleasing.”
The North Area Claymont Master Plan also includes a marina on the Delaware River, easy waterfront access and a recreation area.
The CRDC will continue to hold regular update meetings so the public can weigh in. “CRDC works for the people of Claymont,” Saddler concludes. “We will be here month after month, rain or shine, to answer questions the best we can.”
For information on the CRDC, visit claymontrenaissance.org. For a video rendering of the train station, visit youtube.com/watch?v=qbh0JZmbmfc&feature=youtu.be