Ambitious multi-use project being developed by Blenheim Homes, who are seeking public input

Developer Jay Sonecha’s long-time-coming plans for properties along Valley Road inch close to reality, although the final product is still nearly a decade away.

At the Monday, Sept. 16 Greater Hockessin Area Development Association meeting, Sonecha and his representative from Blenheim Homes, Sean Tucker, gave the public an overview of their plans.

“We are coming to you with a concept, not a final project,” Tucker said. “We will try to make any adjustments accordingly.”

GHADA president Mark Blake called Hockessin Station “one of the most significant plans” the area has ever seen.

The burgeoning project, dubbed “Hockessin Station,” is a roughly 60-acre property siting on 10 contiguous parcels running 2,000 feet along Valley Road.

Sonecha, a long-time resident of Hockessin, said the massive multi-use project has no final look or plan, as he seeks input from the Hockessin community.

Sonecha said he began assembling the Valley Road properties in November 2016, acquiring the last parcel in August 2018. The properties run from Evanson Road to roughly 100 yards shy of the Valley Road entrance to neighboring Lantana Square.

The multi-use aspect brings to mind Pike Creek’s Linden Hill Station, with commercial, residential (including a senior living portion), and office space available in one place.

The industrial zoning currently in place on some of the parcels, Tucker noted, would be removed.

Other aspects of the plan include:

On-site parking for businesses 21 acres of preserved open space A “town square” with green space and seating area A trail network available for public use

Sonecha said he also envisions a “classic Main Street” look for the commercial/business portion of the project, with different looks for each business and promenade style wide sidewalks.

In his presentation, Sonecha said residential section would be comparable to the homes at his nearby Westhampton development off McKenna’s Church Road.

The Westhampton homes, he said, are around 2,000 square feet each and cost in the $400,000 range.

The initial plans show two entrances from Hockessin Station onto Valley Road, although Sonecha said he would consider a third entrance strictly for delivery traffic.

Residents came forward with a number of questions, largely concerning traffic on Valley Road, which some residents say already sees too much traffic.

Sonecha said he is aware of the traffic sensitivity surrounding the project and Valley Road and would move forward with it in mind.

Regarding the Cockneysville Aquifer that supplies the area with drinking water, a portion of which sits under the properties, Sonecha said he has employed an environmental firm to implement best management practices for drainage and stormwater runoff.

As far as a complete project, Sonecha said that even under optimal circumstances, it’s two years to approval, with the first buildings going up in 2020.

A finished and operational site, he added, is likely eight to 10 years away.

Residents interested in participating in the Valley Road focus group can contact Blake at markwblake@aol.com.