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DSM aims to double Middletown shopping center

Katie Tabeling

Plans filed show another 13,100 square foot shopping center north of Middletown.| PHOTO COURTSEY OF DELAWARE PLANNING LAND USE SERVICES

MIDDLETOWN — Diamond State Management (DSM) is looking to double the size of a shopping center off U.S. Route 13 between Middletown and New Castle, adding another 13,100 square feet of space for restaurants and retail.

Plans filed by Robert Wittig of DSM seek to rezone portions of a 6-acre parcel at the corner of Route 13 and Pole Bridge Road to commercial regional (CR). The shopping center will be just north of the Shoppes at St. Georges, an existing shopping center right at the turn that serves as an interchange for Route 1.

Shoppes at St. Georges is anchored by a Wawa and has a liquor store, pizzeria, florist and a nail salon. Slightly further up the highway is Cadence Academy Preschool. The entire shopping center is 13,103 square feet, and with the addition of a second one, it would be 26,124 square feet combined. Plans show adding 52 parking spaces to the area.

While meeting state officials for a Preliminary Land Use Service meeting on Wednesday, Wittig did not comment on the future tenants of the shopping center. However, DSM has made a name for itself in recent years for bringing well-known retailers and chain eateries throughout the state.

In 2018, DSM finished redeveloping the former Lone Star Steakhouse in New Castle. The shuttered restaurant was replaced by a shopping center with a Chipotle, Panda Express and an AT&T store.

Brothers Fred and Robert Wittig launched DSM in 1988, which has now expanded into brokerage, construction and commercial real estate services. The company has acquired 1.7 million square feet along the East Coast, with holdings in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Vermont, North Carolina and Florida. On its website, it boasts of servicing small retail shops on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk to buying land from a new ground-up development in New Castle County.

Its portfolio of relationships includes Buffalo Wild Wings, Chick-fil-A, CVS, Seasons Pizza, Starbucks, Royal Farms, Marshalls, Walgreens, and more. Other banking clients include WSFS Bank, Bank of America, Bank of New York, Citibank, and JPMorgan Chase.

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