Commercial Development Company, Inc. (CDC) | PRESS RELEASE
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11:23 17 September in Press Release

01 May 2015

Commercial Development Company, Inc. Unveils Robust Redevelopment Plan for 425-Acre Former Evraz Steel Mill in Claymont, DE


St. Louis, MO – Commercial Development Company Inc. (CDC), a leading North American commercial real estate and brownfield redevelopment company, today unveiled a redevelopment proposal for the former Evraz Steel Mill – a 425-acre waterfront property in Claymont, DE.

The “First State Crossing” plan proposes to redevelop the former steel mill and reestablish Delaware’s historic first state crossroad. The 425-acre First State Crossing redevelopment plan will transform this historically significant site into a mixed-use economic growth engine for Delaware and also preserve Naamans Creek for active and passive recreational uses.

The concept plan envisions a mix of uses to capture the value created by the highways, railroads, and Delaware River. Proposed uses include “First State Corporate Center” offices on the high profile northern gateway; “First State Employment Center” with research, office, manufacturing, and warehouse uses in the center area; “First State Transit Center” for rail, bus, auto, bike, and pedestrians to serve existing and stimulate new development; and “First State Logistics Center” for multi-modal truck, rail, and river users.

First State Corporate Center

“First State Corporate Center” is the northern gateway to First State Crossing where I-95 and I-495 meet and cross Naamans Creek. This 30-acre site offers excellent highway visibility and access to create an ideal corporate campus. The Plan envisions office buildings totaling 600,000 square feet with trails along Naamans Creek that link to the new Multi-Modal Transit Center.

First State Employment Center

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“First State Employment Center” is located at the central areas along Philadelphia Pike and will include research office, manufacturing, and warehouse uses to create multiple employment opportunities. The 41-acre area north of Philadelphia Pike will focus on research, and office uses, while the 58-acrea area south of Philadelphia Pike will focus on manufacturing, warehouse, and logistics uses. The combined area will provide opportunities for up to 600 jobs. This is in addition to the employment potential of the First State Corporate Center to the north and the First State Logistics Center to the south.

A new internal roadway linking Naamans Road and Philadelphia Pike will limit curb cuts along existing roads and establish a new image and attractive streetscapes in Claymont around First State Crossing. This section of the Plan will enhance Philadelphia Pike by replacing the industrial frontage with attractive streetscapes, pedestrian walks, bike lanes, bus stops, and landscaping. The Plan will create a welcoming entrance to Claymont, the State of Delaware, and First State Crossing.

This area of the Plan will preserve Naamans Creek to create active and passive fitness trails and parks. It will also preserve the historic office building, and will build a strong connection between the historic Darley House and Robinson House.

First State Transit Center

The “First State Transit Center”, a new multi-modal transit center is proposed for the 12-acre site situated along a straight section of the Amtrak line a half-mile east of the existing Claymont Train Station. The “First State Transit Center” will feature a peaked roof brick building, 600 foot passenger platforms for north and south bound trains, bus connections, kiss and ride drop-off, 650 parking spaces, bike and pedestrian access, and easy auto access from Naamans Road and Philadelphia Pike. Pedestrian and bike access from Myrtle Avenue may be possible subject to agency approvals. The site will include natural screening to nearby homes.

First State Logistics Center

The “First State Logistics Center” is proposed south of the Amtrak line along the Delaware River frontage. The site will be reconfigured to ultimately allow for development of a one-mile bulkhead and multi-modal logistics center for port, rail, and truck logistics. A new road from Philadelphia Pike and bridge over the Amtrak rail lines will provide truck access to the site. Also proposed are rail spurs south from the adjacent rail corridor as well as related port facilities including secure access, weigh stations, dry dock, river emergency response and safety port, and preservation of the Naamans Creek outfall in its natural state.

Environmental Remediation

For nearly a century, this property was home to steel manufacturing operations for rail, infrastructure and other industrial applications. In 2007, the property was acquired by Evraz Steel, and continued operations until 2013 when it closed its doors. As a result of decades of steel and industrial manufacturing, the site’s ground contamination and environmental hazards prohibited a traditional real estate transaction.

CDC and affiliate company Environmental Liability Transfer Inc. (ELT), assumed remedial obligations for legacy environmental liabilities associated with the site in February 2015.

EnviroAnalytics Group (EAG), another CDC affiliate company, has been actively engaged in environmental remediation to prepare the site for the First State Crossing redevelopment plan. Ongoing remedial activities include: soil and groundwater remediation, environmental monitoring, and oversight of contamination abatement and demolition of existing structures.

EAG is working with the Delaware Department of Environmental Resources and Environmental Concerns (DENREC) under the state’s voluntary cleanup program. The expected timeline to complete environmental remediation is 2 years, but the First State Crossing redevelopment plan can begin during remedial activities.

“CDC is excited about redevelopment of this historically significant site, and in bringing quality jobs to Claymont, and creating a new front door to Delaware at First State Crossing,” said Steve Collins, Executive Vice President at Commercial Development Company, Inc.