Take a first look as Claymont's new train station takes shape. More development coming.
Molly Mcvety - Delaware Online
The new Claymont train station, the first phase in a major redevelopment project in the northern Delaware town, is taking shape with plans to open in about a year.
The station’s parking structure is completed, and the stair towers are currently going up. According to John Sission, CEO of Delaware Transit Corporation, construction is on schedule.
One of the major aesthetic touches to the new station is a walking bridge that will connect the opposite sides of the tracks. The work will begin on the bridge in October.
"With the growth of Claymont and the influx of residents, we realized that the substandard station needed to be improved," said Brett Saddler, executive director of Claymont Renaissance Development Corporation.
What will be different about the new Claymont station?
The existing Claymont station serves about 1,200 weekday commuter rail riders but its century-old structures are deteriorating and not compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, officials said. It is the northernmost in Delaware with commuter rail linkages to Philadelphia and Wilmington.
The new station, with a Victorian brick facade, will have more parking and will be accessible to people with disabilities. It will be tucked between I-495 and the Pennsylvania state line along the railroad trucks just east of U.S. 13, a few hundred feet north of the current station.
The rebuilt station will cost $40 million. More than $16 million will come from the state and the rest will be federal money. The land for the train station and future developments was donated by a local commercial development corporation.
The new station will be adorned with pieces of public art, including a 20-foot holographic sculpture of a phoenix, paying homage to the former Phoenix Steel Mill that once occupied the space and symbolizing the city of Claymont rising from the ashes.
Ambitious plans for future development in Claymont
Within the next decade, the 251 acres of land surrounding the new station is set to house a 3.3 million square foot mixed-use development, with seven office buildings, three industrial buildings, six retail buildings, 1,207 homes and potentially a park along the Delaware River, in a development called First State Crossing.
The former Claymont train station infrastructure will remain intact and is planned to be used as a trailhead for the incoming riverfront park, one of the hallmarks of the project.
“We are your first impression coming into Delaware from the north,” Saddler said. “Millions of people pass through Claymont every year. We’ve always known that our location was going to be one of the keys to our success, so we are creating a vibrant community, an economically healthy community which will benefit all of our fellow residents.”