The Town of Smyrna is taking important steps to ensure economic prosperity. By developing a long-term land use and transportation master plan for U.S. 13, which runs directly through the town, Smyrna will be able to attract investment and steer development to the areas in which it will be most beneficial.
The Smyrna/ U.S. Route 13 Corridor Market study, which was released in August of 2012, gave findings and analysis that will be invaluable in directing the local government’s economic development efforts. The study pointed to an overabundance of office space and residential housing developments, suggesting that the market does not need additional development of those types. The areas found ripe for development were Smyrna’s historic district and retail sector. Increased investment in the downtown area demonstrates a demand for more urban living and Smyrna’s location midway between other shopping destinations, along with its projected population growth, creates a successful environment for additional retail stores. This information will be invaluable to citizens and town officials as they plan for future economic development opportunities in Smyrna.
Smyrna town officials also worked in collaboration with the Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), OPSC, DelDOT, and consultants to develop a strategy for making the thoroughfare more pleasant to live and work near. The study recommended various aesthetic changes including incorporating street trees, landscaping, decorative lighting, town “gateways” and banners along the corridor. Promoting development with businesses facing outward onto the highway and with parking in the rear was recommended to create a town-like atmosphere. Zoning specific areas for mixed-use development was advised to address the demand and potential for a more urban lifestyle in Smyrna. Increasing accessibility to Rt. 13 for pedestrians and bicyclists was noted as an important facet of future development in order to foster connectivity between different parts of the town. These improvements, as well as others advocated for in the study, will increase the attractiveness of Smyrna as a place to do business.