When the owners of the Pike Creek Fitness Club determined that they could not expand their existing club, they began a search for land nearby. At the same time, Duffield Associates was commencing a design-build contract with the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) for Tweeds Park located a few miles north of the existing Pike Creek Club. Duffield saw a 12 acre parcel which would be landlocked by the new Tweeds Park, as a win win opportunity for both DelDOT and the Pike Creek Club owners. Integrating the proposed fitness facility inside the park’s boundary would provide club members access to the park’s hac1running/walking trails and athletic fields. In turn, the Club could share in the infrastructure and maintenance costs for the park. Duffield Associates assisted the club’s owners in the 12 acre purchase of what would become the Hockessin Athletic Club.

The 12 acre site was an eye sore, dominated by mushroom houses, an auto repair business, and various other structures. Duffield’s team visualized a new 80,000 s.f. athletic club nestled in a green landscape and decided that New Castle County’s recently adopted redevelopment ordinance provided the right vehicle to achieve the vision.

Duffield’s environmental scientists worked with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) to obtain the site’s certification as a “Brownfields” site, eligible for DNREC and Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) grants and matching funding. Duffield was able to obtain $150,000 in grants and matching funds from DNREC and DEDO for use in remediating environmental issues.

In addition to addressing redevelopment and brownfields issues, rezoning was required for the proposed Athletic Club. Duffield Associates worked collaboratively with local residents and elected officials to develop a plan for both the new Hockessin Athletic Club and Tweeds Park that garnered community support and obtained a rezoning from New Castle County Council so construction could proceed.

The Hockessin Athletic Club became the first Brownfields Redevelopment/ Rezoning/ Major Record Plan processed under New Castle County’s Redevelopment Code. When the project was finally completed and opened in June 2007, a muddy mushroom agricultural and industrial site had been transformed into an ultra-modern regional health club designed to complement the surrounding state park, historic tavern, and recreation facilities.

Importantly, the new Club site has many environmentally friendly elements including a parking deck to minimize site paving, bioretention stormwater management basins and restored wetlands.