Through a public participatory planning process, an isolated, repetitive, low-income apartment complex will be transformed into an environmentally sustainable neighborhood that is an integral part of the surrounding community. New civic spaces, a mix of incomes, a mix of building types, and a new commercial face for Claymont’s main street are all in close proximity to the SEPTA commuter rail station.
Building on New Castle County’s redevelopment program, the master plan creates an urbane environment that establishes a precedent for the transformation of Claymont’s main street from a conventional strip retail zone into a traditional main street retail environment and crafts a mixed income/mixed residential type neighborhood with a sufficient critical mass to aid Claymont in supporting their desired retail components.
An urban Village Square, the tree lined open lawn of The Commons, along with the stream, wetlands, and boardwalk that characterize the Crescent Green are defined by homes with covered stoops and create a memorable and gracious public realm that interconnects the new and existing neighborhoods. Tree lined streets and traditional homes with front doors and porches facing the street characterize the neighborhood. Not only an urbane environment, newly created wetlands function to cleanse stormwater and permit groundwater recharge along a creek that flows to the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
An important element of this effort was the development of a Design Code to ensure that the basic framework of the plan, the block faces and uses, the public realm, and the architecture will be controlled as different builders implement the plan. This Design Code has been adopted by New Castle County. Significantly, it also provides sufficient flexibility for builders to fine tune building types, building locations, and the mix of types within specified parameters.
67 acre site
mixed-use, mixed-income community
1,200 residential units
42,000 sf of commercial space
one community center
one relocated historic structure