Brandon Holveck // Delaware Online
A developer wants to give a small shopping center on Kirkwood Highway a face-lift and replace a shuttered gas station with a Wawa, according to plans filed to New Castle County.
Astro Shopping Center next to the Newark Farmers Market and across from Western YMCA in Milltown is currently home to the likes of Hooters, Red Wing Shoes and the Mexican restaurant El Jefe.
The redevelopment plan would see the entire shopping center renovated with a new facade. Wawa would take over the property east of the existing strip center formerly home to Diamond Gas and build a new convenience store and gas pumps at Meadowood Drive and Kirkwood Highway.
The project is slated to be built out in 2023, according to documents submitted to the county by developer Fusco Management. It does not require a rezoning or other special stipulations.
The plans call for a drive-thru fast-food restaurant to be constructed in the parking lot near the road. A section of the existing strip center next to Hooters would be demolished and replaced with parking. Fusco has not shared a tenant for the fast-food restaurant.
Land use attorney Michael Hoffman said he's unsure what the new facade would look like. The existing buildings have tan brick and green roofs with the exception of Hooters, which is bright orange.
The shopping center has several vacancies. In recent years, a Hibachi restaurant, a Pepperidge Farm outlet and a martial arts studio have closed.
Astro Shopping Center is one of several centers Fusco is updating. Its most notable project is The Grove at Newark, which will bring new shops, restaurants and more than 300 housing units to the former College Square shopping center.