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The original item was published from 6/1/2021 4:18:26 PM to 6/11/2021 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: June 1, 2021

[ARCHIVED] City of Milford enters agreement for possible purchase of land for industrial/business park

Fry Farm aerialThe City of Milford City Council recently authorized City Manager Mark Whitfield to negotiate the possible purchase of the 182-acre R&C Fry Farms LP on the corner of Rt. 14 and Rt. 15 (Canterbury Road) in the northwest section of the city for the purpose of creating an industrial/business park.   A Letter of Intent agreement for the possible purchase has been executed between the City and the Fry family.

The addition of an industrial/business park will centralize such businesses and fulfill the current and future needs of manufacturing, light industrial, warehousing and employment in the greater Milford area.

“The City’s 2018 Strategic Plan identified the need for an industrial park within the City, to meet the growing demands for light industrial as well as e-commerce warehousing,” said Mark Whitfield, City Manager.  “Milford sits in a strategically good location with good access to Route 1, Route 113 and Route 13, as well as west access to the bay bridge from Route 14.   Milford is in the center of the Delmarva peninsula, making us a great location for an e-commerce distribution hub.   The proposed purchase will allow us to be competitive with other cities in the area, and satisfy the need to create jobs within Milford.”

The addition of a designated industrial area within city limits will provide opportunities to competitively recruit and retain large businesses, as well as create jobs.

“The Kent Economic Partnership has seen an increase in requests for industrial warehousing and manufacturing sites,” said Linda Parkowski, Executive Director.  “With the addition of the Milford industrial area we will be able to increase our limited supply of large industrial tracks.”

The vacant land is currently zoned a combination of R-3 (Garden Apartment and Townhouse) and C-3 (Highway Commercial).  The City will be submitting a comprehensive plan amendment request to the State of Delaware Office of State Planning Coordination for comments before holding public hearings with the Planning Commission and City Council later this summer.    

If the comprehensive plan amendment is approved, the properties could be rezoned to accommodate industrial and commercial uses.  The commercial uses would be primarily located along Route 14 and Route 15, while the industrial uses would fill the remainder of the property.  

Funding for the purchase and infrastructure improvements will come from City reserve funds, and possible private investment.   

“The City’s accumulation of reserve funds will allow us to invest money back into the community, with the stipulation as lots are sold, the money is put back into the reserve fund it was initially taken from,” said Whitfield.

The City of Milford, incorporated in 1807 and located in Kent and Sussex Counties along the Mispillion River, is home to 10,000+ year-round residents, 500+ retail businesses and non-profits, local restaurants, parks, trails, small town events, major healthcare providers, an historic shipyard, and its own school district.  Known throughout the state as River Town, Art Town, Home Town, the City celebrates the beauty of its natural resources, the ingenuity of its people and its commitment to quality of life.

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