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Sussex shopping center could dwarf outlets



The revival of a dormant proposal could result in the largest-ever retail complex being constructed in Sussex County.
Its size is equivalent to the entire Dover Mall.  If you take apart the 890000ft² of enclosed space and place it into a number of structures, with parking space in the center and place all this into unincorporated Sussex County, not ignoring the farm fields on three sides of the construction, build an overpass across Del. 1 for traffic purposes, then that is what to expect and what has been submitted to Sussex County Council.

The plans for Overbrook Town Center include leasable space of 850000ft².  It has a footprint of 114 acres on the eastern side of Del. 1 a few miles west of Lewes, which is bigger than all three of the Tanger Outlets properties close to Rehoboth Beach combined.

To gain perspective of its size, the average Wal-Mart outlet is around 178000ft², and this proposed center space would be able to hold in excess of four and a half Wal-Marts.

Council members face a tough decision after the public hearings during October and December.  The center will offer tourists and residents new brand stores, but it would also impose noise, traffic and potential water pollution to the surrounding area.
Thus far, the Department of Transport and the developer have placed focus on the improvements to Del. 1 and surrounding roads that would be needed.  The traffic impact study concluded that an overpass would be required to handle the increase in traffic flow.  

According to DelDOT records, if approved, construction will only be completed by 2020 at the earliest.  During 2012, state planners raised concerns about the environmental impact of the construction as it would damage marshlands with water runoff.

The current rezoning application, to commercial from agricultural, was filed on behalf of TD Rehoboth LLC as the equitable owner.  Trout Development has been placed as the developer and Overbrook Acres LLC owns the land.  
There is unhappiness among people in the area, however the rate of new home development in the area is the driving force behind this construction.  There is no other area that could hold construction of this magnitude.


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