Dover partnership seeks property development director for proposed downtown mixed-use projects

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The Board of Directors of the Downtown Dover Partnership (DDP) announced that a search is underway to hire an experienced property development director who will recruit developers and oversee the building of mixed-use projects identified within the Capital City 2030:  Transforming Downtown Dover plan.

DDP Board President Todd Stonesifer said, “We are preparing now for a new generation of leaders to put roots in the ground in the transformed downtown Dover – a revived capital city where they can live, shop, and enjoy new modes of transportation including scooters, bikes, a downtown ‘circulator’ bus, and even consider even walking to work.  And to do this, we need someone highly qualified to begin implementing the plan right away.”  The vendor selected will specifically oversee property redevelopment efforts from inception through to completion. 

DDP Executive Director Diane Laird said,  ”The new plan should be viewed as a catalyst for redevelopment of several DDP and City-owned properties as well as public areas. It addresses commercial, residential, recreational, parking, and transportation opportunities, as well as several exciting placemaking possibilities like a riverwalk, an art walk, and an amphitheater.  We believe this public investment in redeveloping our sites will simultaneously bring about significant additional private investment.”

The new master plan calls for several mixed-use redevelopment projects including a proposed 8,300 square-foot multimodal transportation hub to include 315 parking spaces and wrapped with 146 residential units and 5,500 square feet of commercial space; another redevelopment site that proposes 19 residential units, a 27,500 square foot grocery store and a 113 space, two-level parking garage; and a large property with two proposed mixed-use buildings at the west end gateway. All would feature rooftop amenities.

While the search for a property development director is a definite step toward the implementation of the plan, it is not the first step.  One important earlier initiative – set in motion even before receiving the completed plan, included the s receipt of $1.2 million dollars from the State of Delaware to help current downtown property owners address improvement needs and bring their buildings up to life safety standards and disabilities compliance.  This will position these properties to be more competitive with new construction and will prepare vacant and underutilized buildings for occupancy. 

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The DDP board approved over $700,000 in improvements grants at February’s meeting.  “We will be sharing details of the recipients and project plans in the near future,” Laird said, “but I can assure you that several of these properties have been vacant for years and represent food and restaurant businesses that are ideal for the community.”  One of the proposals approved proposes a food mart for four food operators and another is a beer garden to be open year-’round.  The other two are also food-related categories.

The community, property developers, and those interested in the open position are invited to learn more about the master plan on March 22 at 6 p.m. at Kent Levy Court, 555 S. Bay Road (Dover, DE) when the Mosaic Development Partners planning development team will present an overview of the plan. 

Documents relating to the Downtown Dover Strategic Master Plan as well as the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the position can be found at:  www.DowntownDover.com Deadline to respond to the RFP is Friday, March 31, but the search will continue until the most qualified vendor is selected.

The Downtown Dover Partnership is committed to driving improved quality of life for the residents and visitors of Dover through collaboration, economic development, and promotion of downtown Dover’s unique historic properties.  Further information is available at www.DowntownDover.com

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