Downtown development projects to receive $4.6 million in funding

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The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) announced that new downtown revitalization projects in Milford, Dover and Wilmington will receive $4.6 million in rebate funding through Delaware’s Downtown Development Districts (DDD) program.

Established in May 2014, the program was created to spur private capital investment in commercial business districts and other neighborhoods; stimulate job growth and improve the commercial vitality of our cities and towns.

With these new awards, $29.3 million in rebates through the program has leveraged $551 million in private investment in designated downtown districts in all three counties.

Large project awards from Delaware downtown development program

“The DDD program has been a central part of our efforts to revitalize Delaware’s downtown business districts and drive private investment in our towns and cities. In just a few years, the DDD program has leveraged significant private investment in a wide variety of projects.” said Gov. John Carney. “Encouraging private investment that also revitalizes our downtown business districts and surrounding neighborhoods is the goal of the DDD program, and we’re thrilled that it has been so successful.”

“The DDD program is doing exactly what we intended – attracting significant private investment to our downtowns,” said Anas Ben Addi, director of the Delaware State Housing Authority. “We’re excited to support new projects that are bringing businesses and jobs downtown, renovating vacant buildings, supporting historic preservation, and creating homes in Delaware’s towns and cities.”

At the event, Carney also announced the expansion of the DDD Program and encouraged cities and towns throughout the state to apply to become designated districts. The DDD program is currently available in eight designated districts: Dover, Georgetown, Harrington, Laurel, Milford, Seaford, Smyrna, and Wilmington. Existing districts can also apply to have their district expanded, increasing the opportunity within their cities and towns for DDD-funded projects.

Eight large DDD projects in Milford, Dover, and Wilmington will be funded with reservation awards announced at an event in Smyrna. The event was held at a location previously awarded a DDD large project reservation. In fall of 2016, project investor and local business owner Bob Johnson applied for and was awarded the reservation to construct a new building at 133 N. DuPont Boulevard in Smyrna. The building currently houses Johnson’s computer and electronics business and will soon house Smyrna’s Dairy Sweet Restaurant, set to reopen shortly. “It’s been a great experience being part of the DDD program and receiving the reservation award gave me the opportunity to finish my project earlier than I had thought possible,” said Johnson.

By utilizing a DDD large project reservation award, NCALL plans to combine two properties on Division Street in Dover to construct a three-story office building which will be leased in part to Delaware State University for a new small business incubator. NCALL also plans to move their Restoring Central Dover staff to these offices.Karen Speakman, NCALL’s executive director, said, “We’re excited about this opportunity, as this gives us a chance to have more space for our employees so we can continue to make a difference in the Dover community. We are ecstatic at being one of the applicants selected for the DDD Program in this round of funding.”

In Milford, investor and business owner Dan Bond is receiving his third DDD large project reservation award. He plans to renovate the historic Wells Building in Milford. Bond is also currently working on a project to restore the historic Pikus Building and build nine new townhomes in Milford. “I would not have taken on these projects if financial support from the DDD program had not been available. By combining financial support from the DDD program with state and federal historic restoration tax credits, I plan to restore both of these historic buildings to their original glory,” he said.

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