Home Depot changes plans to locate store near Seaford

By Lynn R. Parks

Home Depot, which had planned to construct a 133,000-square-foot store on U.S. 13, Seaford, has changed its mind. Seaford city manager Dolores Slatcher said Tuesday that the chain home supply store contacted her Friday and said that it was withdrawing from its contract to purchase the property. Home Depot had planned to build on 14 acres between the Herr's warehouse and the Leon Brown's Floor Coverings building. The Seaford City Council gave final approval to the project in May. Slatcher said that Home Depot cited costs associated with its entrances off U.S. 13 and alternate U.S. 13 as the reason for the withdrawal. "They figured them into their formula and said that the numbers just didn't work," she said. Jason Gloeckler, spokesman for the Delaware Department of Transportation, said that those costs were estimated at nearly $1.8 million. The company would have been required to pay for new signs on U.S. 13 and alternate U.S. 13. It would also have been required to pay for new curbing, turn lanes, sidewalks, a DART bus shelter and a modified crossover on U.S. 13 and a bike lane on alternate U.S. 13.

Entrance plans for the store were approved more than six weeks ago, Gloeckler said. "Technically, the approval has expired," Gloeckler added. "But if they came in and said they wanted to pursue it, they could probably still pick up where they left off. That is up to the discretion of the department." Gloeckler said that Home Depot was permitted for two entrances from U.S. 13 and one exit. It was also allowed to have two entrances and exits from alternate U.S. 13. Slatcher said that the city was disappointed in Home Depot's decision. "The city invested a lot of time in this project," she said. "But this is something that happens." Don Harrison, public relations manager for the Southern Division of The Home Depot, issued the following statement Tuesday: "Unfortunately, the construction costs are more than what was budgeted for this store. However, we continue to enjoy a good working relationship with Delaware officials and are exploring our options elsewhere in the state."

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