In less than a year, a polluted former industrial site near Wilmington has become the location of a new regional bank headquarters.
The two-story office building at Limestone Road and Kirkwood Highway now serves as a banking branch and regional headquarters for WSFS Bank.
A state fund that facilitates rehabilitation of “brownfields” helped to turn the former service station site around, according to Gov. Jack Markell, D-Del.
“This was an under-utilized property. With a relatively small amount of state money, it triggered significant investment by the private sector,” Markell said.
“We do have a legacy in this state of a lot of sites that are contaminated,” Delaware Natural Resources Secretary Collin O’Mara added. “It’s a perfect investment because the infrastructure is already here, people are already here, and now we can have a great new building and at the same time clean up 50 years of contamination.”
The state last year established a $3-million brownfields development fund, and maintains a similar fund that’s replenished every year.
According to WSFS President and CEO Mark Turner, the building is the institution’s 50th location, and about 40,000 vehicles pass by every day. Its features include a coffee bar and a community conference room in addition to the usual banking amenities.
“To be able to put up a beautiful building in place of what was an eyesore – a contaminated eyesore – gets to the heart of what we do, which is strengthening and serving the community,” Turner said.