Development abounds in Southern Delaware

By Glenn Rolfe and Elle Wood
Posted 4/15/24

Just about anywhere you go in Sussex County, there is housing development.

And nowhere is it more evident than in Millsboro, one of the fastest growing municipalities in Delaware.

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Development abounds in Southern Delaware


SUSSEX COUNTY — The sights and sounds of spring are in the air in and around Sussex County. And just as flowers are blooming and bees are buzzing, construction crews are busy helping new homes blossom.

The most recent U.S. Census counted 152,262 housing units in Sussex County. That number is about to grow.

Just in the city of Milford, as of February, 3,617 new units are considered in progress, explained Rob Pierce, the city planning director.

“There’s also many other residency projects in the pipeline,” he said.

More than 70% of the projects were approved before 2014. In addition, between 2020-24, there have been 772 units approved but have not started construction, Mr. Pierce added.

There are also 834 homes that have been proposed, but no other actions have been taken.

Millsboro is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in Delaware.

Spearheaded by Plantation Lakes — home to 1,645 upscale dwellings with a buildout of 2,497 — there are 15 approved projects. Seven projects, led by Somerton Chase with a maximum of 223 units, have the green light with final approvals, but construction is not yet underway.

Here is the breakdown of approved housing projects in the town of Millsboro:

• Plantation Lakes, 1,645 of 2,497 completed.
• Peninsula Crossing, 177 of 180 completed.
• Retreat at Millsboro, 196 of 200 completed.
• Somerton Chase, 223 (none built).
• Dove Point, 93 (none built).
• Alderleaf Meadows, 90 of 187 completed.
• Beam Development, 43 (none built).
• Dyer, 240 (none built).
• Dukes Manor, 18 (none built).
• Monroe Square, 29 (none built).
• Burtons Crossing, 96 of 114 completed.
• Otter Branch, 35 (none built).
• Foster Commons Apartments, 69 of 69 completed.
• Millwood, 323 of 362 completed.
• Westtown, 92 of 150 completed.

The information provided by town manager Jamie Burk lists 3,323 as built, with 2,193 to be built.

There are three approved housing projects, representing a mix of 288 total units.
Admiral’s Landing, which has a maximum buildout of 158 townhomes, is undergoing utility construction.

The Village of College Park is under construction, with plans for 121 single-family homes.
The Ponds, a planned apartment complex with 72 units, is approved but construction has not yet started.


There is housing development in Dagsboro, with its population closing in on 1,000.
The singular approved subdivision plans for 51 single-family homes completed in two phases. The subdivision is called The Highlands of Pepper’s Creek, off of Clayton Street. This will be done by Ryan Homes. The project is not designated as workforce housing.

“We don’t have much detail on the homes as yet, but they will be built only when sold and maybe a ‘spec house’ to begin the project,” said Cindi Brought, town administrator. “It is currently being developed in the initial stages, but we hope to see some homes started this year in Phase I, once the infrastructure is in place.”


Several approved developments totaling 881 units are underway in Seaford, whose population is approaching 9,000.

The Mearfield I development, which is designated exclusively for single-family homes, has a maximum of 213 homes.

Meanwhile, Mearfield II has a buildout of 153 townhomes.

“They have started, but it has been slow. with only eight units so far,” said Seaford building official Michael Bailey.

Belle Ayre, which offers townhomes and single-family homes, has a total buildout of 83 units in three phases.

Melanie’s Ridge, an apartment complex, has 288 total units. Thus far, 16 units have been completed in two buildings.

Approved but not yet underway is Riverplace, which has 144 total apartments in view of the Nanticoke River.

Affordable housing

On the topic of affordable housing, Sussex County leaders said there are about 100 units under way.

“For the county’s affordable housing units, the Sussex County Rental Program currently has 32 units at Coastal Tide in Lewes, and 75 units at Chapel Branch and School Lane in Lewes. The 75 units are still in a preliminary stage as the projects have not yet received final site plan approval. “

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