August 19, 2016 — Delaware Public Media — On the west side of Fort Dupont’s sprawling coastal campus, a yellow backhoe is taking bites out a squat red-brick building that once housed state-run medical facilities.
The demolition is just the start of the redevelopment of the 325-acre historic site that will eventually include a new residential community, shops and an entertainment center while preserving many former military buildings that date back to the 19th century.
The developer, the Fort Dupont Redevelopment and Preservation Corp., plans to remake the base as a waterfront community where residents can live amid – and in some cases in – renovated military buildings, and enjoy the proximity of the Delaware River and the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.
Two years after Gov. Jack Markell signed legislation setting up the entity to redevelop the formerly state-owned property, and five months after taking title to it, the corporation is pressing ahead with the plan. It expects construction to start in early 2017 on the first phase of new housing.
Jeffrey Randol, executive director of the corporation, said he expects to select a builder for the first phase of new homes by October, after hearing recommendations from the corporation’s board.
The first phase will include 75 new single-family homes on the west side of the site, close to the canal that separates it from Delaware City. The early work will also include the sale of 12 lots to builders or private individuals, and the renovation of three former officers’ homes that will be rented to private tenants.