Plan moves forward on project at Rts. 1, 16

Retail/entertainment complex eyed for 65 acres at intersection
January 26, 2024

A proposed retail and entertainment complex planned for 65 acres at the intersection of Route 16 and Route 1 near Milton has cleared its first hurdle.

At its Jan. 24 meeting, the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval of an application filed by Ocean One Holdings LLC of Rehoboth Beach to rezone the parcel from AR-1 agricultural-residential to C-3 medium commercial district.

County council has scheduled a public hearing on the application for 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 20. Council will have final say on the fate of the application. If it approves, a site plan must be submitted to and approved by the commission.

Commissioner Greg Collins, who made the motion for approval, said the parcel complies with requirements in C-3 zoning. He said it’s adjacent to two major roadways, has the availability of central water and sewer service, is in a county developing area and received support from several organizations.

He said several road improvements are planned to provide access to the property and connect to the grade-separated interchange being constructed at the Route 16-Route 1 intersection. The $30 million project is expected to be completed in late 2025.

The developer and Delaware Department of Transportation staff have met several times over the past five years to discuss the traffic impact of potential uses, and a traffic-impact study has been conducted. The developer would be required to improve the frontage along Route 16 and also construct a service road from Route 16 to the southern edge of the property to connect to Route 1 as well as a dual-lane roundabout at the property’s access point along Route 16.

The developer would also be required to construct an off-on ramp from the service road to southbound Route 1, pay for two traffic signals and contribute $105,000 to DelDOT's traffic signal revolving fund for a future signal at the Route 16-Zion Road intersection west of the property.

The most recent traffic counts are 19,457 vehicles per day on Route 1 and 9,700 vehicles daily on Route 16.

While no specific plans for the site have been disclosed, David Hutt, the developer's attorney, said the vision for the property is for a retail and entertainment complex to serve residents and tourists.

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