After some delays, the company headed by developer Mike Zimmerman aims to break ground this winter on the Redner’s Warehouse Market planned for U.S. Route 13 just north of the junction with Del. Route 10.


After some delays, the company headed by developer Mike Zimmerman aims to break ground this winter on the Redner’s Warehouse Market planned for U.S. Route 13 just north of the junction with Del. Route 10.

The former Lonestar Trailer Park has been slated to become CR Plaza, with Redner’s as the anchor, for some time.

Back in April, the project had approval from the town of Camden and approval for preliminary work from DelDOT. But a groundbreaking had yet to be set.
That has changed, Zimmerman said.

“We will be starting site work in February subject to weather,” Zimmerman said.

He anticipates that Redner’s will open in November 2012. The store would have its own set of gas pumps located on the south side of the site, near the Dawson Bus Service property. The $12 million, 48,519 square foot project would include15,000 square feet of miscellaneous local retail accessible from Main Street, a 13,000 square foot stand alone drugstore on the Route 13 side of the property and a fast food restaurant.

Both of the latter are slated for national tenants, Zimmerman said.

“I am not at liberty to disclose names yet,” he said.

The Camden property is owned by CR Plaza LLC  - named after Caesar Rodney –  for which Zimmerman is the managing partner. He is more readily known as the sole owner of BBC Properties.

The delays on the Redner’s project depend on who is asked.

As Zimmerman put it, the project was “in four years of DelDOT hell.”

“Ask any developer,” he said, referring to the logistics.

But DelDOT chief spokesman Michael Williams said the Delaware Department of Transportation was simply waiting for Zimmerman’s engineers to finish its reports for the project.

“Mr. Zimmerman, from what I remember, was kind of behind the eight-ball and Redner’s was threatening him with a deadline if things weren’t pulled together by a certain date,” Williams said. “He tried to come down on DelDOT. But we never had enough time because the engineering groups he was using were slow in getting information to the department. We can only move as fast as what we’ve got in front of us.”

Those reports did eventually come in, however, Williams said. Since then, CR Plaza LLC has obtained the approvals it needed from DelDOT. Therefore, the plans for the connector road are approved, and the traffic signal design plans for Old North Road and Route 13 are also approved, he said.

“Mr. Zimmerman was able to restart them whenever he could,” Williams said. “He will be constructing the connector road [and] the two signal locations. He will be doing each of those to the design standards that our traffic group has established. Once he does it, DelDOT will take over and it will be a public, state maintained road.”

Redner's Markets Inc., for its part, remains interested in opening a store at the proposed site in Camden, Redner’s spokesman Eric B. White said.

“We are currently re-negotiating with BBC Properties to reinstate the lease which was previously terminated due to delays,” White said.

But Redner’s cannot commit to the time frame in which the store's construction or opening would be completed, which is typical with any such project, White said.

“The timeliness of the project’s completion is dependant upon the weather and all applicable permits and inspections being issued by state and local authorities," he said.

In addition to state permits, CR Plaza LLC has everything it needs from the town of Camden, Town Manager James Plumley III said. That includes planning approvals from the municipality and construction permits, he said.

“There is no hold up other than their own timeline,” Plumley said. “We’re excited to see this happen. It’s been a long time coming.”

Camden resident Pat Williams, who was among those wondering where the project stood, shared that excitement.

"I think Camden deserves a new supermarket," she said. “And Redner’s Warehouse will be a welcomed addition in 2012.”