Orderly Planned Development

As development took place, an important part of Woodlawn’s planning was to set aside land for parks and parkways. Long before there were planning and zoning codes, Woodlawn established development and building standards with thought for community needs and preservation of open space.

One of Woodlawn’s earliest residential developments was the 11-block area south of Rockford Park. Streets were laid out, trees planted, and residential lots were offered for sale with special care given to providing front and rear set-backs, open side-yards, and use limitations.

Other Woodlawn residential developments in Wilmington, where lots and sometimes entire blocks were sold, include several blocks in the Price’s Run area, several blocks near Bayard School, lots near Stapler Park, and lots along Bancroft Parkway. In each instance, Woodlawn reserved the right to approve building plans, materials, uses, lay-outs, and building heights to ensure quality development.

Having completed urban development activities, Woodlawn began plans for the land owned by the company north of the city. To permit development on the west side of the Concord Pike, Woodlawn paid to bring a major sewer trunk line from the du Pont Experimental Station to Garden of Eden Road.

Alapocas, Woodbrook, Sharpley, Edenridge, and Tavistock all are Woodlawn residential developments. In these developments, Woodlawn sold building lots to individuals and builders who followed an approved subdivision plan which included provisions for sidewalks, trees, and other basic infrastructures (sewer, water, storm drains, street curbing and paving.) In conjunction with these developments, Woodlawn made land available, at less than market value, for community uses, thus benefiting such groups as the Brandywine YMCA, county library, post office, Pilot School, Jewish Community Center, and the Baptist, Methodist, Unitarian and Catholic churches.

Over time, Woodlawn’s development processes have included the selling of residential lots, land exchanges, long-term leasing of lands to be developed by others, sales of developed lands, and the sale of lands to be developed by others. Examples include the leasing of land for the Delaware Corporate Center, north of Silverside Road, the sale of land to the Pilot School for their new building and campus on Woodlawn Road,and a sale and land exchange with INA Properties, Inc., which built the office building at Concord Pike and Beaver Valley Road. Woodlawn’s design standards for leased lands which include attractive landscaping, high quality materials selection, and landscaped berms that help shield the view of parking lots from the roadways have become a signature of Woodlawn development.