Coughlin’s Crossing, the proposed 80-acre mixed-use development between Stratford Road and U.S. Route 23, north of Meeker Way, has been slow to come together. During Monday’s meeting of Delaware City Council, the development team was present to request some changes to parts of their original plan as the site continues to take shape.
Delaware Development Plan LTD requested a development text amendment to Sub-Areas 2, 5, and 6 of the development, as well as an Amended Preliminary Development Plan for Sub-Areas 2 and 6. Council approved both those requests with a unanimous vote.
The Coughlin’s Crossing site is divided into six sub-areas containing a mixture of commercial and residential uses. Sub-Area 2, which most of the conversation centered around, was originally broken down into areas 2a and 2b. Under the amended proposal, the sub-area will now be consolidated into one complete area.
Sub-Area 2 will still encompass the same amount of land at 15.41 acres, 9.73 acres of which is developable ground.
In the original Preliminary Development Plan, approved in 2016, 24 attached or detached residential units were permitted in Sub-Area 2a, while approximately 125 apartment units were permitted in 2b. Now, with the two areas being consolidated, a 178-unit apartment development, which will be constructed by Romanelli and Hughes, has been approved for Sub-Area 2.
The units will be spread throughout nine buildings with a density of 11.55 dwelling units per acre. Four of the nine buildings will be two-story structures containing 12 units each. The other five buildings will be three-story structures containing 24 units each.
Per the base zoning code, the minimum apartment square footage is 800 square feet for one-bedroom units and 950 square feet for two-bedroom units. Under the amended text, 790 square feet will be allowed for the one-bedroom units, but the two-bedroom units will be 1,100 square feet.
Planning and Community Development Director Dave Efland said little of the conversation regarding the new plan for an apartment development centered around the quality of the proposal, given the excellent track record Romanelli and Hughes maintains. Efland said most of the conversation centered around existing traffic along Stratford Road and the added traffic of the development, but he went on to say the changes made to Sub-Area 2 have no effect on the traffic that will be coming to and from the site.
Economic Development Director Sean Hughes said of the development, “What I see this project being is a much-needed mixed-use development. We don’t have, currently, a true, newer mixed-use product in the city of Delaware.”
Hughes said he considers downtown Delaware a mixed-use development but pointed out that not everyone wants to live in one of the older apartments that are available downtown. He said the Coughlin’s Crossing development and the apartments in it will give the city a modern option that “allows us to continue to attract young professionals” that he believes will work in the “white-collar jobs that we’re going to continue to secure in the community.”
Developer Connie Klema said of the progress that has finally been made on Coughlin’s Crossing, “Where we are now is, finally, where we wanted to be for a long time. Infrastructure in, three-signaled access points on (U.S. Route) 23.”
Klema said of the proposed apartments, “What we found in the last three years or so as we’ve been marketing this is what really makes a mixed-use (development) work is having it mixed-use, meaning you have to have residents there. So, the fact that Romanelli and Hughes literally agreed that they wanted to build here was a Christmas present to me about last summer.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.