Dance, retail, and community space available

The former Light House on Yorklyn Road continues to shine in downtown Hockessin as the Radiance Center opened its doors earlier this month.

When the Light House closed after 30 years of business last year, Hockessin resident Melissa Rufo approached the owners with her ideas for the building, which once housed the original Hockessin Post Office.

“I look out the window of my office [nearby Rufo Associates, on Old Lancaster Pike], and I can see the building, and I just thought it was a wonderful opportunity,” she said. “I ran some of my ideas by the previous owner, and she was very supportive of what we wanted to do.”

The Rufos closed on the property last June, and have since gutted and completely renovated the spot, including relocating the main staircase and refurbishing the exterior with a new coat of stucco and paint.

The newly renovated spot is home to the Radiance Dance Center, founded by Rufo’s daughter, Emily Rufo, a University of Delaware graduate who has also served as head coach of the Delaware Military Academy Dance Team and assistant coach of the Neumann University Dance Team.

While the center is intended to house the dance and performing arts center, Rufo also hopes to attract small boutique-style businesses to the two retail locations on the ground floor.

The two sections have separate entrances – one on Yorklyn Road, and one off Old Lancaster Pike – and come with bathrooms and break rooms/storage space.

Rufo hopes to use the center for community events, with the Fourth of July, Halloween, and Christmas in mind for upcoming opportunities.

“I’d like to do something like a Christmas village, where you can come see Santa and have your picture taken,”Rufo said.

Rufo said the “Radiance Center” name is both a reflection of Emily’s studio and goals, it is also a homage to the Light House name and its presence in the Hockessin community.

“They were here for three decades, and the post office was here before that, so people really look at this spot with a sense of community,” she said. “We’d like to keep that spirit alive.”

The Radiance Center is located at 604 Yorklyn Road.

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