Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Class war in Delaware

It's old-money preservationists against suburban developers in the lower Brandywine "chateaux country"

Class war in Delaware

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Stoltz Real Estate Partners, Bala Cynwyd, is stepping up its plans to spend three-quarters of a billion dollars converting a former DuPont Co. office complex, a farm, and a fancy shopping center into high-rise and high-intensity developments on the edge of Wilmington's "chateaux country," the chain of private estates and parks owned by du Pont heirs and other longtime residents in the lower Brandywine Valley.

Lame-duck county executive and would-be U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, and other prominent Democrats, have generally supported the projects, while local county councilman Bob Weiner, a Republican, is fighting them and warning northern Delaware will become like North Jersey if Stoltz's plans are allowed to roll. Read Stoltz's two-year-old proposal here, and today's story in the Wilmington News Journal here.

The developments would center on Greenville, the upper-middle-class village outside Wilmington that's home to Vice President Joe Biden and other prominenti; opponents worry it will choke traffic through the district, from the tract homes of Brandywine Hundred to the square-mile Granogue and Big Bend estates and their green rolling neighbors.

So why not put it all in downtown Wilmington, which is served by highway and public transit and Amtrak, and could use the boost? 

About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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