Best Places to Live
35 great towns: How does yours rate? Plus, check out our exclusive chart that shows home sales in more than 200 Delaware neighborhoods from 2006 through 2010.
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“The town itself is a little gem that stands still in time,” says Mayor Kathy Harvey. “You could imagine today standing in the middle of Main Street, and it’s the same streetscape as it would’ve been 200 years ago.”
Forty acres of land were recently annexed for residential development that blends the town’s signature Federal architecture into new construction, which is aimed at both young families moving to the area and locals moving from bigger, older homes.
History is simply part of the fabric of Odessa. Residents take advantage of great programs for kids at the Corbit-Calloway Library, the oldest in the state. And The Historic Odessa Foundation, headed by Debbie Buckson, is excited about the progress of Cantwell’s Tavern, a 19th century-style tavern operated by restaurateur K.C. Kulp.
Those who live in Odessa praise its walkability and its tightly knit community. “It’s just very friendly,” Harvey says. “People walk everywhere—to the post office, to Odessa Memorial Park. I think that’s what people most enjoy about Odessa.”
Odessa’s central corridor is Main Street, with an east side dedicated to residential buildings and a west side that is mostly commercial. Post-WWII homes in neighborhoods like Odessa Heights hover on the town’s outskirts.
Councilwoman Sandra Sturgis moved to Townsend for the excellent Appoquinimink School District and stately Victorian homes. She quickly fell for the small-town vibe. “It wasn’t quite Mayberry, but not that far off,” she says with a laugh. “People know their neighbors, the kids say ‘ma’am’ and ‘thank you,’ and I don’t worry about locking my doors.”
The town council works to cultivate family-friendly activities townwide, such as Easter egg hunts at the new town park and costume contests at the fire hall. —Matt Amis
5 North Wilmington
Property tax: 3.96 26
Median home: $290,000 27
SD: Brandywine 4
Commute time: 23.2 12
This is what a good portion of New Castle County residents call home, and for good reason: ample housing, very good schools, parks galore, and lots of great dining and shopping. It may be spread out along Philly and Concord pikes and Naamans Road, but there’s plenty to choose from. Add points for landmarks such as Rockwood Museum and Bellevue State Park.
Page 6: How They Rate, continues...