Many locals across the Delaware River Towns were either met with excitement or frustration as developers have begun rolling out extensive plans to renovate the historic Stockton Inn.
Taking the proper precautions, Avon Road Partners sent out over 4,500 letters to residents outlining their plans to reestablish the Inn as a central hub for lodging, entertainment, dining, and much more. Although the development team has maintained that the integrity of the Stockton Inn will be preserved, residents are fearful of the implications this new center will have on quaint Stockton, NJ.
Living directly behind the Stockton Inn, this plan sounds like a nightmare. We don’t need a 1,000 seat amphitheater in the middle of a rural, quiet, residential neighborhood. It will destroy our town.– Local Resident
As quoted from the developer’s introduction to the area, “We respect history. We respect The Stockton Inn as a community touchstone.” Not many locals seem to agree. With plans including a 1,000 person amphitheater, a wellness center, and a hotel, residents are left scratching their heads.
Touting a population of around 615 people, Stockton, NJ, has been renowned for its quaint characteristics, but this has faced change in recent years. Take a drive through Stockton, NJ, on a Friday night, and you’ll see exactly what we mean.
With the Stockton Market blossoming into a popular option for a night out, this charming town’s downtown has become quite congested. Limited parking combined with the rising popularity of Delaware River Towns has put a damper on many who are in love with quiet, small-town life.
This plan is completely inappropriate for the town, its residents and the locale. Traffic at Bridge and 29 is already a nightmare when the Market is in full swing. I cannot imagine how bad it would be with (a) 1,000 person venue, plus restaurant and bar. It’s ridiculous.– Local Resident
For those in tune with the Delaware River Towns, you know it’s fair to say our local towns aren’t new to the presence of outside developers. The recent “renovations” to downtown New Hope, PA, have been met with critical feelings. As word of a luxury hotel replacing the staple that is Fred’s Breakfast spreads, residents plan to gather at New Hope council meetings to figure out exactly how to approach these new developments. Sure, we all love to see our small towns grow, but outside developers seem to be out of touch with the local sense of community.
With that being said, the Stockton Inn development team seems to be trying their best to become ingrained with this tiny River Town. Although these plans are clearly causing a sense of confusion, some residents & businesses in Stockton are ecstatic about the news.
I think this is wonderful and personally, very excited to see that an investor would consider investing in such a project. Would bring entertainment, culture and growth to our area . Yes, traffic and noise needs to be considered but it can be worked out. The traditional hasn’t been successful so I’m happy to see thinking outside the box!– Local Resident
The Stockton Inn has been up for sale for two years with little to no interest from buyers due for a number of reasons. Past attempts to revamp the current status of the Inn have unfortunately failed, time and time again. Regardless of past guests ranging from locals to Shania Twain, the Stockton Inn has taken a plunge into irrelevancy. This leaves the question for Stocktonians:
Although the Delaware River Towns have become unexpected destinations for tourists, we are doing our best to remain open-minded to the idea of renovation. It’s hard to imagine how Stockton’s parking situation will pan out, but this doesn’t mean the Stockton Inn should remain vacant for years to come. Significant changes have arrived at our hidden gems, and the frustration of locals is evident. But, with the proper plans in place, the growth of our towns can be exciting.
Now it’s time to hear more from the people who matter most, the Delaware River Town locals.