Downtown Dover Partnership President Greg Moore said the Delaware Department of Transportation's agreement to locate its E-Z Pass vendor on West Loockerman Street was "a touchdown for downtown."

The Delaware Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles and the Downtown Dover Partnership have reached an agreement for DMV's E-Z Pass vendor to sell transponders in the heart of Dover's downtown business district.

DelDOT has requested bids for its new E-Z Pass vendor, and the successful bidder will take up residence at 22-24 W. Loockerman St. by autumn 2013, DelDOT spokesman Michael Williams said Thursday. The West Loockerman site was part of the requirements of DelDOT's request for proposals, he said.

"We are very excited to be locating to downtown Dover," Williams said. "The facility will be made up of the E-Z Pass Customer Service Center and a DMV Call Center."

Downtown Dover Partnership President Gregory Moore and Executive Director Bill Neaton announced the new venture with DelDOT during their annual report to Dover City Council on Monday. The Downtown Dover Partnership had purchased and renovated the property at 22-24 W. Loockerman, valued at $257,850, as a real estate investment that was now paying dividends, they said.

"That will bring 60 business folks downtown into this building and it would also make the front of this building the public access point for E-Z Pass," Moore said. "Folks would come in, pay their bills and report issues. There are about 40 people who will walk into this building a day on Loockerman Street.

"We think it's a home run for our Downtown Dover Partnership," he added. "It's a home run for our downtown and I credit our mayor [Carleton Carey Sr.]. He and myself approached the Department of Transportation for this venture."

The property is near the Loockerman Way Plaza and recently completed North Street improvements touted by Neaton and Moore during their annual report.

The back of 22-24 W. Loockerman would be enhanced to look similar to the recently created, pedestrian-friendly Loockerman Plaza, Moore said.

Negotiations are still in the early stages, Moore and DelDOT's Williams said. The amount of rent DelDOT would be charged would depend, among other things, on the vendor that was chosen, Williams said, But the Division of Motor Vehicles would be the primary party negotiating lease costs with the DDP and the selected vendor, he said.

"We are excited to have a store front location, which is new for us, and we are hoping it will elevate the visibility of E-Z Pass and increase sales and new accounts," Williams said. "We sell online and in-person, so the site will provide service both ways, just as the current location on Old Rudnick Lanes does."

As of Jan. 1, there were 189,480 active Delaware E-Z Pass accounts, Williams said. There are 340,755 assigned transponder units for those accounts.