Sussex parcels bought for new Family Court complex

By Glenn Rolfe
Posted 6/19/21

GEORGETOWN — County-owned property currently earmarked for parking for Sussex County employees and patrons is changing hands as part of Delaware’s new Sussex County Family Courthouse …

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Sussex parcels bought for new Family Court complex

Posted

GEORGETOWN — County-owned property currently earmarked for parking for Sussex County employees and patrons is changing hands as part of Delaware’s new Sussex County Family Courthouse project in the heart of Georgetown.

Four parcels referred to locally as the “Domino’s property,” nestled behind the restaurant located on South Race Street is selling for more than a half million dollars.

At the June 15 county council meeting, Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson said the county has been in long-term discussions with the state of Delaware related to the state’s initiative to build a new Family Court building and parking garage.

“The county and the state have worked together to come up with an agreed-upon price based on an appraised value, and the state is prepared to purchase these four properties from the county,” Mr. Lawson said.

The price is $550,000, Mr. Lawson said.

All four properties are currently being used as parking lots. They will become state property and used construct their new court complex, Mr. Lawson said.

The four lots total approximately 120 parking spaces.

The projected $90 million, 100,000-square-foot complex, bordering East Market, South Race and East Pine streets, will replace the 31,000-square-foot Family Court facility – built in 1988 - on The Circle that a state court study found to be outdated and cramped with security and safety concerns.

Per the county’s property disposition policy, Mr. Lawson said he asked all county directors if they had a need for the property and “did not receive any positive responses in that regard.”

Council voted 5-0 June 15 to proceed with the property sale.

The contract has been reviewed by county attorneys and attorneys for the state and has been approved.

“The state will allow the county to remain in possession of the parking lots until such time they are ready to proceed to construction. They are required to give us a 30-day notice,” Mr. Lawson said.

Additionally, Sussex County administration has “taken steps to ensure that staff that park in these parking lots today will have a parking spot someplace else with county property.”

Mr. Lawson advised council members that future projects will be coming forward that “will require your approval to make sure that we have enough adequate parking for our staff in and around this building,” Mr. Lawson said.