Pike Creek Shopping Center to get redesign
PIKE CREEK – About six months after the Kmart in the Pike Creek Shopping Center closed its doors, the property’s owner is proposing a redesign of a large portion of the plaza.
Regency Centers, the Florida-based owner, operator and developer of hundreds of open-air shopping centers across the country, submitted plans to New Castle County this month that would tear down about half of the Kmart department store that long stood as an anchor for the shopping center off Limestone Road.
“We felt the former Kmart space could provide more dynamic options for the community if we created some smaller footprints for different retailers to fill,” said Eric Davidson, a spokesman for Regency.
Following the demolition, a 46,000-square foot commercial space would remain attached to the strip mall that also features an Acme grocery store. With the newfound space after demolition, Regency is proposing to build a 6,425-square-foot auto service center.
On the northeast corner of the shopping center, Regency is proposing a 5,619-square-foot convenience store with gas pumps – suggesting that a sought-after brand like Wawa or Royal Farms may be the target. Wawa has an older location off New Linden Hill Road less than a quarter mile to the south, and the company could upgrade its Pike Creek presence with a modern store with gas pumps, which the existing location lacks. Meanwhile, Royal Farms has yet to branch into the area, with the nearest location about 3 miles away on Kirkwood Highway.
Lastly, Regency will also build a new 4,919-square-foot standalone retail store between the existing WSFS Bank branch and Ruby Tuesday restaurant.
As of now, Regency has not signed any tenants for the to-be-created spaces, according to Davidson.
The reimagining of the shopping center comes on the heels of the Kmart location’s closure late last year as the longtime retailer, along with its fellow Transformco-owned department store Sears, has died out in Delaware. Troubled by declining revenues and mismanagement, Kmart can only be found in nine states today after once ranking among the nation’s largest retailers.
Regency isn’t the only commercial real estate owner contending with the exit of the Kmart and Sears in Delaware though. Less than 4 miles away, Robbins Management Co. is dealing with the remnants of a Sears location that closed in the Prices Corner Shopping Center off Kirkwood Highway in 2018.
Replacing it is a Target department store that may open as early as this year. Like Regency, Robbins decided to divide the enormous former Sears store into two pieces, leaving a 67,000-square-foot space that still has yet to find a tenant.
The arrival of the high-value Target brand has attracted a number of other smaller tenants, however, including Chick-fil-A, AutoZone, Chase Bank, and Two Claws, a Cajun seafood restaurant, according to the shopping center’s leasing brokerage, Arrow Real Estate Services.
By Jacob Owens