[caption id="attachment_223384" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] A truck drives to the lone existing building on Duck Creek Business Campus.Smyrna officials received $1 million of state funds to support installing infrastructure in the undeveloped land of the business park. | DBT PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING[/caption]
BEAR – The town of Smyrna received $1 million from the Site Readiness Fund on Monday to install infrastructure for the next phase of its rising Duck Creek Business Campus.The business park, which includes one building already occupied and three more going through the town’s planning process, is Delaware’s last applicant for the funds before Fiscal Year 2022 ends.Duck Creek Business Campus is Smyrna’s premiere economic development prospect, as it has 206 acres of land ripe for warehouse or distribution center construction. Developed by KRM Development Corp., the entire property could have up to 1.5 million square feet of warehouse space and bring 4,000 jobs once completely developed.However, KRM Development President Jesse Parks and Smyrna officials are looking to maintain the momentum to build on the raw land. The $1 million from the state will be spent on sewer, water, electric and roads in the undeveloped portions of the business park.Duck Creek Business Campus is projected to be a $25.6 million investment, according to KRM.“This is a project we’re committed to, and these dollars will just speed things up,” Parks told the Council of Development Finance (CDF) during its Monday meeting. “Either we have to wait as the dollars come in to add the infrastructure to develop the land, or we can do it right now and get it started.”
[caption id="attachment_224032" align="alignleft" width="300"] KRM Development President Jesse Parks, left, and Smyrna Senior Planner Jeremy Rothwell make the case for the Site Readiness Funds on behalf of Duck Creek Business Campus. | DBT PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING[/caption]
Duck Creek Business Campus first applied in February for a Site Readiness Fund grant, but it stalled as the Delaware Division of Small Business required applicants to submit financials, Director of Special Projects Patty Cannon said. KRM Development is an arm of Dixon Valve & Coupling Company, and declined to submit that information at the time. Instead, Smyrna filed an application on KRM Development’s behalf.In 2019, roughly 25% of the infrastructure was installed to draw the first wave of development. That paid off, as Procter & Gamble signed a lease to open in the first 70,000-square-foot building in Duck Creek Business Campus. A second 70,000-square-foot building and a 113,000-square-foot building is also planned for the property.In addition, Scannell Properties has received approval from the town to build a one-story, 337,137-square-foot warehouse for an unnamed tenant, which will bring roughly 610 jobs.Smyrna Senior Planner Jeremy Rothwell declined to estimate how much water and sewer capacity the town was looking at for the undeveloped areas of Duck Creek Business Campus, noting that capacity would depend heavily on the business. For example, a food processing company would use a significant amount of water compared to a distribution center.Site Readiness Funds are intended to provide state funds to development projects that are in need of utilities or funds for road work, engineering, studies or other planning needs. Aside from Smyrna’s request, the CDF has awarded $8.2 million of the $10 million set aside for the funds.KRM will fund $2.84 million for the instructure for phase two and three, and once the work is done, the state will reimburse Smyrna for the match $1 million.The Site Readiness Fund will be left with $800,000 by the end of FY 2022, which ends this week. The leftover monies will be rolled over to the fund in FY 2023, according to Cannon.