The developer who plans to bring a Wegmans grocery store to Barley Mill Plaza will update the community on construction plans, traffic issues and next steps related to the site at a public meeting Wednesday night.
Greg Pettinaro, CEO of Pettinaro, said that DelDOT had recently completed a traffic study that he will share at the meeting on Wednesday, September 25th at A.I. duPont High School (50 Hillside Road in Wilmington) at 7 pm.
Pettinaro said a completed traffic study indicated that three major intersections around the Barley Mill site – 141/48, 141/Barley Mill Road and 141/Montchanin Road – are already considered by DelDOT to be “failing” (according to wait times at traffic lights). However, Pettinaro says the mixed-use plans for the site will actually alleviate some traffic issues, by distributing car movement in and out of the site at various times of day rather than just the early morning and pre-dinner rush hours.
In order for his project to move forward, Pettinaro will seek a traffic waiver from New Castle County Council, which meets on October 22nd.
“We’re hoping a traffic waiver will allow us to build our property without major improvements to the intersections,” said Pettinaro. “DelDOT is not recommending major improvements because those improvements would be out of character to the area – a flyover over 141 or widening it into the open space and making it four lanes – those kids of improvements, which would be out of character for the neighborhood.”
Pettinaro told us that since the last community meeting regarding the project, the company has received its Board of Adjustment approval.
He plans to also update the community on construction efforts to salvage some of the buildings at the current site. Many were gutted in an attempt to renovate some of the buildings. Once they are demolished, Pettinaro says the materials will be recycled.
“We spent about six months trying to refurbish them and we just couldn’t do it. There just isn’t enough interest in the existing layouts and low ceiling office suites,” he said.
Pettinaro also said they plan to unveil “minor” design changes to the 500,000 square foot proposal first unveiled in February, including building elevations, walking paths and possible new layouts surrounding the retail and residential communities. Small facade changes to the townhomes may also be shared. The changes were based on feedback from community members and the New Castle County Department of Land Use.
The height restriction at the site is 50 feet. But Pettinato says they will come in under that. The site will include:
• 33 townhouses
• 80 four-story flats
• 152,200 sq. ft. of retail in two shopping strips with restaurants, shops, and a coffee shop
• 161,000 square feet of office space
• 11 acres of green space
If Pettinaro receives approvals in February, then they would break ground in the spring of 2020 and turn over the pad site to Wegmans in the spring of 2021. Wegmans would open in the spring of 2022.
Pettinaro’s February presentation to a full house at the Greenville high school was favorably received by an audience that included many residents who had vocally opposed the initial plans for a 2.8 million square foot colossus proposed by another developer.
Attendees cheered the news the upscale grocer Wegmans had agreed to build a store, along with Pettinaro’s description of townhouses and retailers that will inhabit the firmer DuPont Company campus.