Following the July 30 community meeting on major redevelopment plans for the AstraZeneca campus first reported here on TSD, representatives of Delle Donne & Associates provided answers to questions raised about the mixed-use project that will include a hotel, apartments and retail offerings. New Castle County Councilman Bob Weiner shared the responses from attorney Larry Tarabicos on behalf of the developers.
Q: What is the proposed height and location of the hotel?
A: The proposed height of the hotel is 75 to 80 feet. The closest corner of the hotel will be 250 feet from the property line of the closest residence. The previously approved building would have been approximately 135 to 140 feet from the property line of the closest residence.
Q: What is the impact on other businesses and shopping centers along Route 202?
A: The shops and businesses in this community will be unique and different because it will be a pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use community. These businesses consist mostly of restaurants, cafés, and shops that are primarily geared toward servicing the employees, residents, and businesses located on site, as well as the surrounding area. Market studies show a high demand for both existing and new businesses.
Q: Does this project include any plans to improve pedestrian safety and connect the east and west sides of Route 202, such as constructing an underground pedestrian tunnel?
A: We are willing to discuss options with the appropriate government agencies and surrounding property owners. We would also be willing to make a fair contribution to pedestrian improvements that are agreed upon by all parties.
Q: Are there any plans to modify the common traffic signal shared by the entrances to Avenue North and Fairfax Shopping Center?
A: Improvements to the traffic signal on Route 202 will be coordinated with DelDOT as the plan proceeds through the process.
Q: Is there a demand for more apartments?
A: There is a tremendous demand for these types of apartments in Brandywine Hundred.
Q: What will be the total approximate number of employees at the completion of the project?
A: We estimate about 5,000 employees will work on the property. Currently, AstraZeneca employs 1,500 people. At completion of the project, there will be about 4,000 corporate employees. Retail, restaurants, and other businesses will account for the remaining employees.
Q: What are the plans for the existing solar panels?
A: The existing solar panels are obsolete and will be removed.
Q: What, if any, green or sustainable initiatives will be taken?
A: The development will incorporate: rain gardens, landscaped swales in parking areas to cleanse stormwater, solar shades, low flow water consumption plumbing fixtures, LED lighting wherever possible, occupancy and vacancy sensors, green roofs on the apartment building parking deck, low VOC paints and coatings, and recycling stations on site. Additionally, we will densify the tree canopy in the urban areas to reduce the heat island effect and recycle demolished building materials.
Q: Will there be an Avenue North website?
A: Yes, there will be an Avenue North website. It will be active within the next 1 to 2 months.
Q: Are there any issues or concerns with environmental impacts on site?
A: We are currently looking into any environmental impacts and will provide further information at a later time.
Q: Can the developers get DelDOT to make the traffic/walk signals “smarter”?
A: We will discuss this with DelDOT.
Q: Is it possible for the developers to consider reducing the number of parking garages, or constructing one large garage?
A: The number of parking garages will be determined as construction proceeds. The number of parking garages could be reduced if the parking need is not as high as currently anticipated.
Q: Will the fences between Woodbrook and Route 141 remain in place?
A: Even though the fences are at least 100 feet inside the AstraZeneca property line, the Delle Donne organization has no plans to remove or relocate them at this time. This should probably be more carefully documented at a future date.
Q: Will trees be removed in order to create stormwater management ponds?
A: The trees in these areas are protected young forests, so there are no plans to remove them. There are also four stormwater management areas currently located on the property (in the north, east, southern center, and one in the form of a wetland), so there is no need to remove any trees to make room for additional stormwater management. The current stormwater management facilities will remain the same.