Approvals made for Milford Corporate Center

Phase 1 of 182-acre project moving forward

By Elle Wood
Posted 5/22/24

Next steps are being taken to grow Milford's economic footprint, with the Milford Corporate Center at Canterbury and Airport roads.

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Approvals made for Milford Corporate Center

Phase 1 of 182-acre project moving forward


MILFORD — Next steps are being taken to grow the city’s economic footprint, with the Milford Corporate Center at Canterbury and Airport roads.

City Council members discussed the project’s timeline so far at its May 13 meeting, plus looked forward to the initiative’s upcoming moves, approving several requests for funding. The site sits on 182 acres, with a plan to divide it into 27 lots.

Newly elected Mayor Todd Culotta said he is excited for what the Milford Corporate Center will bring to the city.

“I think, in the next year to two years, this will be one of the most important things we will be focusing on to bring jobs and economic growth to Milford,” he said.

The proposal for the former Fry family property was hatched in February 2022, when City Council authorized the execution of a memorandum of understanding with the Tsionas property management company and the commercial real estate broker NAI Emory Hill.

The first phase of that memorandum included the development of a master plan and an evaluation of off-site improvements with professional assistance.

So, a contract for the Becker Morgan Group to produce the concept master plan was authorized by council later that month.

Then, in August of that year, council members reviewed a preliminary concept plan before scheduling a public workshop to discuss them. They followed by submitting the plan for a Delaware Preliminary Land Use Service review.

A PLUS hearing, with various state agencies, was conducted Aug. 24, 2022.

Additionally, Milford was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Delaware Site Readiness Fund to further develop the concept master plan, a traffic impact study and the engineering design.

Two months later, City Council once again authorized $210,000 and $313,000 contracts with Becker Morgan for the design and permitting of on-site construction improvements and anticipated work from the Department of Transportation.

Council later authorized a $28,000 agreement with Becker Morgan for the traffic impact study.

In November 2022, the city was awarded $2.7 million from the Delaware Transportation Infrastructure Investment Fund for construction of two entrances and right-of-way improvements at the location.

Moving into 2023, Milford was given another $1 million grant from the Delaware Economic Development Authority to design and construct the center — a 50% reimbursement of incurred costs.

Last August, council authorized a contract with KCI Technologies for engineering services, including the design of a regional sanitary sewer pumping system, in the amount of $56,000.

Then, last month, another $2.2 million in TIIF monies was awarded to the city to cover costs associated with design and construction of off-site transportation improvements required by the Transportation Department.

At last week’s meeting, council unanimously approved four more proposals for the facility’s first phase.

“Phase 1 would include the entrance at Canterbury Road and Airport Road, and the service road leading through the site to the entrance on Route 14,” said Rob Pierce, Milford’s planning director. “It encompasses about half of the site.”

Council members discussed a proposal made by KCI for the bid and construction services of Phase 1, with the company reporting that building will take about 12 months after ground is broken on an undetermined date. That work would include the sewage pumping station.

KCI said the city would be billed based on the time and materials used to complete the tasks, estimated at $268,680. City staff recommended that council execute the proposal amount to not exceed the estimated fee.

Also on the agenda was a proposal by Becker Morgan for bid and construction assistance in the first phase, as support to KCI.

The estimated fee for those services is $48,000, with staff recommending that council execute the proposal for only the “Bidding and Construction Phase Services,” at no amount to exceed the estimate.

The next request was from Archer & Greiner for the project’s legal services.

“As part of the Milford Corporate Center, the city is engaged in with Tsionas and Emory Hill to provide advice on the land developments,” said city manager Mark Whitfield. “Now that we are ready to move forward with construction, we are ready to move forward with a master development agreement with Tsionas (and) Emory Hill, which will cover the management, marketing and the sale of lots.

“Due to the nuances of such agreements, staff consulted (with) and obtained an engagement proposal from Archer & Greiner, a law firm that specializes in land development agreements.”

The estimated costs for such services are $13,000.

The last proposal discussed at the meeting was for additional off-site improvements.

“A traffic impact study was prepared by Becker Morgan Group and reviewed by DelDOT, where it was determined that additional off-site improvements were needed,” Mr. Pierce said. “These are changes on Church Hill Road, and they are also requiring us to lengthen a right-turn lane on Route 14, approaching Canterbury Road.”

A proposal from Becker Morgan for $180,500 was made for these changes.

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