[caption id="attachment_222519" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The 45 acres of land right on Route 299 is planned for at least two warehouses, pending a new zoning ordinance. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
ODESSA — A long-dormant property on a major corner between Odessa and Middletown may soon see a new future, as developers are planning at least two warehouses, with an estimated 540,000 square feet in total floor space.Plans filed on behalf of the attorney Randall Robbins and Wye Realty Advisors founder Bill Russell show that 45 acres of land would become two warehouses, each 210,000 square feet in size. Each would have 128 parking spaces, 44 truck parking spaces and 40 loading docks.Rough plans also show a smaller warehouse at 120,000 square feet. But an alternate plan is to divide that space into two flex warehouses at 60,000 square feet each, if that plan is more marketable, according to Dev Sitaram, president of Karins and Associates and the engineer on the project.The Odessa Commons project is located at 631 Main St., just off the northbound Route 299 exit from Route 1.However, the project may still have a significant lead time as the 45 acres is still zoned Planned Neighborhood Development. To fully maximize the site's potential, the developers were working with Odessa town officials to create a new zoning designation: business park.
[caption id="attachment_222520" align="alignleft" width="300"] Plans filed show at least two warehouses, each at 210,000 square feet. One option would include building a 120,000 square foot warehouse, or two smaller flex buildings. | PHOTO COURTSEY OF DELAWARE PLANNING LAND USE SERVICES[/caption]
Back in 2008, plans were filed with the Office of State Planning Coordination that outlined a mixed-use development. That version showed 142 apartments, 158 residential units, 54,000 square feet of retail space, 31,000 square feet of office space as well as a 91-room hotel.When that vision was not realized, the land went dormant and was eventually used for farmland. But in 2020, Russell and others involved in the Odessa Commons project revisited the land and started conversations with Odessa officials.“Once we had coalesced a vision with the town that we would move forward, we needed to draft a [zoning] ordinance,” Russell told state officials during the Preliminary Land Use Service meeting on Wednesday. “Under the warehouse or business park development concept plan, you have significantly less overall density and more open space.”Traffic projections under the 2008 PND-zoned version would have been 8,100 vehicles per day, Russell added. The Odessa Commons project with the warehouses would be about 900 vehicles per day, he said.Robbins is a personal injury lawyer who serves as the director of Ashby & Geddes in Wilmington. The firm also works in the realms of business advisory, corporate reorganization, intellectual property. The land was bought by a limited liability corporation associated with Robbins in 1987 for $404,800, according to county land records.Russell founded the Newport-based Wye Realty Advisors in 2008, after leading Newmark’s Philadelphia Capital Markets Group for five years. In his time with his own firm, Russell has sealed deals for $1.25 billion in real estate equity and debt, including developing $100 million in commercial developmentNotable projects Wye Realty Advisors has in the First State include the sale of High Hook Farms, a 387-lot neighborhood in the greater Odessa area, acquiring the Stoltz Greenville Portfolio of office and retail space valued at $100 million.
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