87 acres of land near the Delaware-Pennsylvania state line will be preserved from development.
Nearly 100 acres of land near the Delaware and Pennsylvania border will be preserved as part of an effort to increase economic development in the Yorklyn area.
The bankruptcy of NVF, a company that produced vulcanized rubber and other products, was the start of the preservation effort. When NVF went bankrupt in April, the property was purchased by CCS Investors. The investment firm has agreed to give 87 acres of the 99 acre site to the state for $2.6 million.
“This is a ‘win, win, win’ for Delaware,” says Governor Jack Markell. “This cooperation between government and the private sector is a model that serves Delaware well through innovative partnerships that create economic opportunities.”
The state will make changes to the 87 acres to draw tourists to the area. There are plans for a network of trails for hikers, bikers, and horse riders. The area is adjacent to the Auburn Heights Preserve, 315 acres owned by the Division of Parks and Recreation. The preserve is probably best known as the home of the Marshall estate, which hosts a group of vintage steam cars. (Click here to see a special feature on the estate and its collection of steam cars)
The 12 acres that CCS Investors will retain will be developed for commercial and resident uses. That commercial development could include office space, museums, retail shops, art studios and restaurants.
The area is still in need of some environmental clean up work. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is working on cleaning up zinc contamination and restoring a stream in the area. State officials say while the zinc doesn’t pose a threat to human health, it is harmful to aquatic life in the Red Clay Creek.