What opened in the First State in 2021

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic stretching well into its sophomore year, development in Delaware showed few signs of slowing down in 2021.

The Prices Corner shopping center completed its redesign, anchored by Delaware’s first new Target in more than 10 years. The Christiana Fashion Center filled part of its first major vacancy since its first phase opened in 2015 with the addition of Trader Joe’s.

And at one of the largest buildings in the country, Amazon began shipping packages from the former General Motors site, continuing its rapid expansion in the First State.

There are plenty more projects of similar scope set to unfold in 2022 or the following years that we’ll highlight in a story in the coming days. For now, here is a look back at the businesses that opened in Delaware this year as reported on by Delaware Online/The News Journal.

Scenes inside the new Amazon MTN1 Warehouse in New Castle Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021.

Amazon’s mega-warehouse on Boxwood Road

Amazon’s 3.8-million-square-foot fulfillment center is not only one of the largest buildings in Delaware, but one of the largest buildings in the country.

Covering roughly 640,000 square feet of ground space and five stories high, the fulfillment center features all of Amazon’s latest technology, including robots that move products miles every day and sensors that detect when and where a product is stowed.

The facility opened in September. It employs around 1,000 people.

Amazon received $4.5 million from the state to build the fulfillment center, which replaced the manufacturing plant vacated by General Motors in 2009. Also at the site is a smaller Amazon delivery station.

READ MORE: 5 things to know about Amazon’s new mega-warehouse on Boxwood Road in Delaware

The sign atop the new Trader Joe's location at the Christiana Fashion Center.

Delaware’s second Trader Joe’s

After almost two decades with just one Delaware location, Trader Joe’s expanded to Christiana in April.

The new store, located in the Christiana Fashion Center, joined the company’s original First State outpost on Concord Pike in Brandywine Hundred. It replaced part of Saks Off 5th, which closed in 2019.

Elsewhere in the fashion center the women’s athletic clothing brand Athleta opened in September between Zoup! and Ulta Beauty.

READ MORE: A look inside Delaware’s second Trader Joe’s

The Prices Corner Target, seen Wednesday, April 7, 2021, nearly ready to open.

Prices Corner redevelopment centered around new Target

Target’s fourth Delaware location opened in April in the Prices Corner shopping center.

The store replaced Sears, a fixture of Prices Corner for more than 50 years. Target is the centerpiece of a redevelopment of the shopping center, that also includes an updated facade and other new businesses such as Tropical Smoothie, AutoZone and Chick-fil-A.

At 113,000 square feet, it is the smallest of Target’s four Delaware stores.

READ MORE: What you need to know about the new Prices Corner Target

An employee stocks a shelf at the new Aldi off Coastal Highway in Rehoboth Beach on Nov. 10, 2021, the day before the store is scheduled to open.

2 Aldi grocery stores opened at the end of the year

Aldi, the German grocer, opened two stores at the end of the year: a new construction in the Christiana Town Center off Route 273 and a backfill of the Kmart off Coastal Highway in Rehoboth Beach.

The two stores are part of Aldi’s rapid U.S. expansion. The company opened around 100 stores in 2021 and plans to be the third-largest U.S. grocery by store count by the end of 2022.

READ MORE: International supermarket chain to open stores in Rehoboth, Christiana this year

A view of the Chick-fil-A in Prices Corner shopping center under construction in late October 2021.

2 Chick-fil-As opened in New Castle County

Chick-fil-A added two Delaware locations in 2021: in the Prices Corner shopping center on Kirkwood Highway and on Route 40 near New Castle. 

The Route 40 store opened in June and the Prices Corner store opened in November.

At least one more Delaware location is in the works, potentially taking the place of the Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder facility on Ogletown Road in Newark.

READ MORE: Chick-fil-A planning another new location, 2 others opening this year

The Purple store at Christiana Mall.

New stores at Christiana Mall

2020 resulted in higher than usual turnover at the Christiana Mall. But, the mall is almost filled again with about a dozen stores having debuted in the final months of 2021 or due to open at the beginning of 2022.

Jeweler Lovisa opened its first Delaware store in the wing of the mall between Macy’s and Target. Lovisa describes itself as “an affordable fashion jeweler.” 

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