Greenville Center, Inc. records1950-1998
Greenville Center, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware on August 3, 1960 for the purpose of developing a shopping center at the northeast corner of the intersection of Buck Road and Kennett Pike in Greenville, Delaware. The records of Greenville Center, Inc. consist of an assortment of records from two sources--those of Greenville Center itself, kept by stockholder Arthur McGeorge, and a smaller portion from Peter H. Greeley of the Greenville Manor Homeowners' Association. They describe the mechanics and difficulties of building and operating a small but upscale suburban shopping center and restaurant.
- Greenville Center, Inc. (Organization)
2.1 Linear Feet
Greenville Center, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware on August 3, 1960 for the purpose of developing a shopping center at the northeast corner of the intersection of Buck Road and Kennett Pike in Greenville, Delaware. It was organized by local investors, including Harry P. Bissell Jr., B. H. Bolling Jr. (1926-2007), and Arthur McGeorge Jr., with the support of Stewart E. Poole, Irénée du Pont Jr. (1920-), Edward B. du Pont (1934-2017), Reynolds du Pont (1918-1980), and Pierre S. du Pont III (1911-1988).
Prior to this time, the only shopping facility in the area was located further north on Kennett Pike. It was built by the Shield's Development Company in the early 1950s, and contained Shield's lumber yard and hardware store, Johnson's pharmacy and lunch counter, and Janssen's, a private supermarket. These establishments provided necessities to the surrounding estate country. Rather than competing with these established businesses, the Greenville Center originally contained mostly professional offices and a new post office.
By the mid-1970s, however, the surrounding estates had begun to be subdivided, creating the need for more retail facilities. Between 1977 and 1980, the company added 50,000 square feet, about one-third office and two-thirds retail space, along with an expansion of parking and site work. The company desired a quality restaurant as the flagship occupant of the new retail building, and arranged with the operators of The Greenery in downtown Wilmington to open a second restaurant called The Greenery Too. In order to accomplish this, the investors in Greenville Center created a new company called The Greenery Too, Inc., through which they provided financing for the new restaurant.
On June 30, 1978, Greenville Center, Inc. absorbed Greenville Manor Corporation, a firm with basically the same investors that had built a housing subdivision called Greenville Manor immediately to the east of Greenville Center in the early 1960s. Soon afterward, the company attempted to form a partnership to rehabilitate the Monroe Park garden apartment complex that had been built on the west side of Kennett Pike in the 1950s, but was unable to come to terms with the owners.
Having successfully developed the entire tract, the investors in Greenville Center decided to sell the property and apply the capital to new development ventures. They sold the Greenville Center to Greenville Center Associates, L.P., on March 12, 1982, and Greenville Center, Inc. was dissolved shortly thereafter.
However, some of the Greenville Center investors continued as investors in The Greenery Too, Inc. The restaurant was not entirely successful; the operation was sold in 1988 to David J. Wilk, who redecorated it and operated it under the name of the Polo Club, with The Greenery Too, Inc. holding the underlying loans. Wilk was no more successful than his predecessor and had difficulty making his loan payments. Residents of the adjacent Greenville Manor objected to his engaging live bands and offering outdoor dining and entertainment. In the mid-1990s, the restaurant was sold again to Dietz Enterprises, Inc., who redeveloped it as the Brandywine Brew Pub. It, too, lasted less than a decade.
Scope and Contents
The records of Greenville Center, Inc. consist of an assortment of records from two sources--those of Greenville Center itself, kept by stockholder Arthur McGeorge, and a smaller portion from Peter H. Greeley of the Greenville Manor Homeowners' Association. They describe the mechanics and difficulties of building and operating a small but upscale suburban shopping center and restaurant.
The records of Greenville Center, Inc. include the company's minute book, agreements, building permits, financial statements, and a full-page advertisement from the illustrated Sunday supplement of the local paper. Records of The Greenery Too, Inc. include financial statements, notes on financing and officer loans, and files on the struggle to find a successful operator for the restaurant. There is a small amount of material on Greenville Manor, and there are site plans for both the shopping center and housing development. There are also files or reports on several surrounding developments, including the Powder Mill Square shopping center, the Shield's shopping center, Greenville Square, and the Monroe Park apartment complex.
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- Greenville Center, Inc. (Organization)
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Greenville Center, Inc. records
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- 2021: Laurie Sather