George Beer, President and founder of DVDC, first began working with the Willow Grove parcel between 1994-1995 as an employee for the Gilman Development Company. At that time, what is now Willow Grove was a several thousand acre farm bounded by Middletown, the Appoquinimink River and State Rt. 299.
As development began on the site, negotiations were made with the Delaware Department of Transportation to divide the lot in two, with State Rt. 1 running through the property. The incorporation of State Rt. 1 through Willow Grove created a unique set of development problems. First, it divided Willow Grove into two distinct entities, Willow Grove and Parcel 3, now known as Spring Oaks. Second, before State Rt. 1 was built, a sleeve for access to water was necessary for all potential units on the Willow Grove parcel.
Photograph courtesy of Anderson Homes
The next step taken to ensure the marketability of the land was to change the zoning and to annex the property into the Town of Middletown from New Castle County. As it currently stands, both Willow Grove and Spring Oaks are both part of Middletown proper.
After having laid the groundwork to create development-ready land with immediate access to one of the most traveled highways in the state of Delaware, building began. The initial phase of the project included preparing the land for large single-family homes, which George Beer did in his role at Gilman. After having founded DVDC, Mr. Beer bought the rest of the parcel with his two partners, Kershaw Construction and Anderson homes around 2001.
Since purchasing the remainder of the property, Mr. Beer and his partners have done much to build new communities and to extend the reach of Middletown proper. While development is ongoing, the property currently has a Wawa, a police station, and several commercial and office components. Willow Grove is also home to several bustling communities, including Longmeadow at Willow Grove and the Villas a Willow Grove Mill. In all, DVDC was a large contributor in the creation of development-ready land for several thousand units. The property is now owned in part by Anderson Homes.