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Fast food restaurant, tire center and retail coming to historic La Grange site in Glasgow

Brandon Holveck
Delaware News Journal

New Castle County Council on Tuesday approved a plan to build a shopping center at a historic site along Route 40 in Glasgow.

The shopping center will feature six buildings spread out in a village-style arrangement. The developer, Wright Partners of Media, Pennsylvania, plans to fill the development with a tire center, a fast-food restaurant, a day care, three retailers and potentially offices.

Preliminary tenants include Taco Bell and AutoZone, according to marketing materials posted by DSM Commercial.

Michael Hoffman, an attorney that represents Wright Partners, said the developer plans to start construction as soon as possible with the goal of completing it by mid- to late 2021.

The development will be built along the west lanes of Route 40 at Biddle Avenue, west of Glasgow Avenue and southeast of the La Grange subdivision.

An aerial view displays the 10-acre site where a developer will soon build a shopping center. To the west is the La Grange subdivision, and to the east is the historic La Grange Manor House.

It will be built on 10 acres of a roughly 240-acre plot that is mostly farmland and is protected as a historic overlay district. 

East of where the shopping center will be built sits La Grange Manor House, built in 1815 and the site of several important experiments pertaining to cultivation techniques and fertilization. It's often referred to as the Samuel Henry Black house, for its owner who was a doctor and farmer in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

"It's very historical, and people are very aware of the importance of the area," said Dorinne Woods, a La Grange resident.

At that time, and for much of the next century and a half, rural farmlands surrounded Route 40 and Route 896 in Glasgow. The area expanded with commercial and residential development along the Route 40 corridor starting in the 1970s.

The land around the Black house remained undeveloped until the mid-2000s when the 227-home La Grange subdivision won approval.

A shopping center is being proposed at a historic site called La Grange on Route 40 in Glasgow.

A previous plan for a 5-acre commercial development west of the recently approved project's site won approval around the same time at the subdivision but has since expired.

Wright Partners took the first iteration of the current plan to the county in 2018. After passing through the historic review board in August, the project won a crucial rezoning from "suburban" to "commercial regional" last fall. The land still has a historic overlay, meaning all permits and future changes must be approved by the historic review board.

Hoffman said the development will emulate the Black house's historic federal style and will feature a brick-dominate exterior. The developer opted to make the buildings separate and arrange them in two rows separated by landscaping and parking spaces to make the development more visually appealing than a traditional strip center with parking in front.

It will feature peaked, not flat, roofs at the request of the historic review board. Wetlands and naturally dense trees will provide a buffer between the new shopping center and its neighbors.

The historic Samuel Henry Black House next to a historic site called La Grange on Route 40 in Glasgow where the development of a shopping center is being proposed.

Currently, the Deer Park Plaza featuring a Walgreens and two small strip centers is west of the site, and an office park is across from the site on the opposite side of Route 40. Dozens of acres of farmland remain east of the site.

There aren't any public plans to develop the rest of the historic zone.

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Contact Brandon Holveck at bholveck@delawareonline.com. Follow him on Twitter @holveck_brandon.