The Downtown Dover Partnership purchased 22 and 24 Loockerman St. in a distress sale in 2010. They renovated the exterior of the building over the course of late 2012 and early 2013. The space was given new windows and doors. At the front, the dingy brick and stone exterior was replaced with fresh sleek cream colored brick and stucco. In the back, the drab concrete facade was replaced with brick to match the front and a large window and awning were added.
Additions and rennovations were also made to the back of the lot, which was once just an asphalt slab.
At the beginning of the year, DelDOT announced that it was accepting bids from E-Z Pass vendors and that the winning bidder would set up shop in the newly renovated space on Loockerman Street. The space was originally scheduled to be occupied in the fall, but renovations on the interior didn't begin until September.
WHATS HAPPENING NOW
The storefront, which formerly consisted of two separate spaces, has been gutted and merged into one large space. The new interior will be fitted to suit the needs of Transcore, the vendor that the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles has contracted to sell E-Z Pass memberships, said Gregory Moore, president of the Downtown Dover Partnership.
The renovation work at 22 and 24 Loockerman St. is scheduled to be done by the end of the year, with Transcore hoping to be operational by February, Moore said.
Transcore is currently operating out of a space off of S. State Street, which the company has outgrown, said Mike Williams, chief of administrative policy and communications for the DMV.
The renovations carry a $700,000 price tag, according to a City of Dover building permit report. Much of the work, which is being paid for by Downtown Dover Partnership, is being done to outfit a portion of the space for a call center, Williams said.
As it stands now, Transcore staff only field calls regarding E-Z Pass; once the company moves into the new space it will be taking on some DMV-related calls, Williams said.
"They will take basic phone calls that come in that our counter people at the DMV normally answer," Williams said. "We are in the process of training and educating them on what those calls would be. When it gets into something complicated at a certain threshold it will come into the DMV."
In the midst of the renovation at the new site, construction crews are also working to clean up the building from an environmental standpoint, Moore said.
"We are doing asbestos remediation in that building to clean it up," Moore said. "Most of the properties we buy usually have some kind of environmental issue. We clean them up and put them back into use."