Developer of former Claymont steel site donates 15.5  acres for rail station

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The developer of the former Evraz Claymont Steel site has donated 15.5 acres for a new Claymont SEPTA train station.

St. Louis-based Commercial Development Co. made the donation through its Claymont Properties LLC affiliate.

Ground is expected to be broken for the $54 million train station project in 2019, with competition in 2021. The State of Delaware has already received a $10 million TIGER transportation grant for the station. The station is in its final design stages.

“We are extremely excited about our partnership with CDC to bring a new state-of-the-art multi-modal transportation center to Claymont,” said John Sisson, CEO of Delaware Transit Corp. (DART).

Image from Commercial Development Co.

Commercial Development Co. specializes in converting industrial sites needing environmental clean up into mixed-use developments.

The project, known as First State Crossing, will include three million square feet of development while keeping 40 percent of the 425-acre site as open space. Plans call for 1 million square feet of office space, 300,000 square feet of industrial, 150,000 square feet of retail, 1,200 residential units, and a 200-room hotel.

Also planned are multi-use trails connecting to regional trails and the preservation of Naamans Creek and the Delaware River waterfront.

“With the new Claymont Regional Transportation Center and 250 acres available for development at First State Crossing, we have development at First State Crossing, we have the opportunity to create something very special,” stated Stephen Collins, executive vice president of Commercial. “Several prospective tenants and buyers are waiting to confirm the transit center will be built. Today’s announcement will encourage these prospects and stimulate additional interest in First State Crossing.”

First State Crossingis also near a planned container port along the Delaware River at the former Chemours Edgemoor site.

A new train station has long been sought for the Claymont area as work gets underway to make the area near the Delaware-Pennsylvania line into a commercial and residential center.

Other residential and commercial development has made its way to the Claymont area, with redevelopment likely at the nearby Tri-State Mall.

The current SEPTA stop is heavily used, with parking at a premium during the work week. The new station could also lead to the extension of SEPTA train routes that currently terminate in nearby Marcus Hook, PA.

To the west and south, work is underway on a new Newark train station that is the end of the SEPTA line and has a limited number of Amtrak trains.

Commercial Development has successfully converted brownfield sites like the Evraz steel mill into mixed-use projects. It was involved in the demolition, remediation and sale of property at the sprawling Sparrows Point steel mill complex in Baltimore.

Among its current projects is the razing of the former GM plant in Janesville, WI. Demolition is now underway at another former GM plant near Newport.

Delaware developer Harvey Hanna & Associates plans to convert the site to a logistics-distributionhub.

The two projects will finally give northern Delaware the opportunity to lure large distribution centers that have ended up in nearby areas of New Jersey or Maryland.

First State Crossing is located in an Opportunity Zone, a designation that provides tax incentives for developers. Harvey Hanna and government officials were unable to get the designation for the Boxwood site.

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