Great Places to Live

There’s more to a great neighborhood than great homes. Include top-notch schools, easy transportation, stellar shopping, cultural and recreational diversions, and a palpable pride of place. Here are 11 areas that stand out.

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The university’s recent purchase of the former Chrysler automotive assembly plant means a host of new high-tech research and development for both the defense industry and consumer applications. That’s great news for the local job market, which is already rich on opportunity through such nearby employers as W.L. Gore and Associates, Dade-Behring, Air Liquide, AstraZeneca, Christiana Care Health System, the university itself, and others.

Did we mention community spirit? Newark residents express theirs through such popular events as the annual Memorial Day parade and Trick or Treat Main Street, as well as Community Day in September and Newark Night in June, when Main Street is closed to vehicular traffic so locals and visitors can enjoy musicians, a car show, sidewalk sales and more en plein air. Nature lovers have 600 acres of municipal parks. Large natural areas such as Iron Hill County Park, Middle Run Natural Resources Area, beautiful White Clay Creek State Park and Fair Hill, Maryland, are within a 10-minute drive or bicycle ride.

One of the town’s most ambitious efforts has been to bring the new urban idea of live-work-play communities to downtown. The completion of the upscale Washington House, located on Main Street, is a step in that direction.

Washington House consists of 64 condominiums ranging in price from the mid-$300,000s up to just over $900,000. Overall housing prices in the city range from $85,000 to almost $1 million, making Newark both affordable and attractive to those looking for more upscale living.

With a town center a mile off I-95, major cities to the north and south are easily accessible. Commuters, take heart: Amtrak and SEPTA make stops at the Newark train station. And Del. 896 speeds you to the beaches and other points south in short order.

The entire Wittig family loves the wide open spaces in and around Middletown.  Photograph by Jared CastaldiMIDDLETOWN

The Quintessential Hometown

Mayor Kenneth Branner believes Middletown’s continued appeal rests with its commitment to maintaining hometown feel, in spite of what is arguably one of the most explosively growing regions in the state. Pop Warner Football is still a big, big deal here, and nowhere else is there such a hometown celebration as the Hummers Parade, a local spoof of Philadelphia’s famous Mummers, on New Year’s Day.

“Our planning and zoning officials are committed to expanding our retail and commercial base in the traditional model that includes adequate setbacks, no parking lots abutting major roads and no big box outlets in the center of town,” Branner says.

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