September 30, 2022

Unitranche

Supportive Business Potential

KRM forges on with Western Sussex Business Campus

The Western Sussex Business Campus is envisioned to have at least 9 buildings and represents a total investment of $8 million. | PHOTO COURTESY THE CITY OF SEAFORD

SEAFORD — While KRM Development’s plans for central Delaware are starting to take shape, the regional firm is just getting started on its latest project in Sussex County.

KRM Development has filed plans for two 70,000-square-foot flex buildings in the future Western Sussex Business Campus, a campus that aims to deliver 1,100 jobs to Seaford once fully built and leased out. Plans filed and recommended for approval by the Seaford Planning and Zoning Commission earlier this month show 140 parking spaces and roughly 27 loading bays.

KRM Development President Jesse Parks told the Delaware Business Times that he would have a better idea of the timeline of construction once the project was approved by the Seaford City Council. The council is expected to vote on the project on May 24.

“It’s probably too soon to tell [how KRM will be marketing the project],” Parks told DBT in an email. “For now, we will be keeping the marketing in house.”

The plans demonstrate that KRM is eager to fulfill its contractual obligations to the Western Sussex Business Campus. The full-service development company bought four parcels totaling 44 acres last year from the city with the understanding it would build at least one 50,000-square-foot speculative building within 18 months. In exchange, Seaford city officials committed to spend $1.88 million on infrastructure to get the business campus ready for future tenants.

Based in Chestertown, Md., KRM Development specializes in speculative building, and recently has opted to build at least one building at a time to test the demand. At its sister project, Duck Creek Business Campus in Smyrna, one building was built in 2021 and leased out this year to Procter & Gamble.

While marketing the land, KRM started conceptual plans for a second building at least twice the size of its first one.

Mayor David Genshaw previously told the Delaware Business Times that he would be pleased to sell KRM the entire 100 acres, but opted to hold back out of caution. Back in 2004, city officials started buying large swaths of land in efforts to boost its marketability and sign a public-private partnership with a developer. 

Around that time, the property for the proposed Western Sussex Business Campus, then 243 acres at the time, was first bought with $500,000 allocated in Delaware’s Bond Bill in 1995.

KRM still has the right of first refusal to buy the remaining land, per the contract signed with the city of Seaford.