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Dover Post
  • ‘Pocket’ park construction begins in downtown Dover

  • The City of Dover condemned and demolished a house on the southeast corner of North Street and Governors Avenue three years ago, and until recently the lot had remained vacant.

    But now the site is buzzing with activity.
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  • THE PROJECT
    The City of Dover condemned and demolished a house on the southeast corner of North Street and Governors Avenue three years ago, and until recently the lot had remained vacant.
    But now the site is buzzing with activity.
    The lot has been cleared, the sidewalk around it has been temporarily closed and in just a few weeks what was once a vacant lot will become a “pocket” park, completing the improvements the Downtown Dover Partnership has been making to North Street over the last two years.
    Those improvements have gone a long way toward improving the look of North Street, said Greg Moore, president of the Downtown Dover Partnership’s board of directors.
    “North Street use to be riddled with a sea of telephone poles and wires, all above ground, crossing the road, crossing the parking lot and falling down when a tree hit them,” he said. “Now they’re all underground. There are hundreds of new parking spots available. There are brick sidewalks and lighting and cameras for safety.”
    All the improvement projects have been funded through a $3 million state grant, which was awarded to the Downtown Dover Partnership through the 2011 bond bill, according to Bill Neaton, the organization’s interim executive director.
     
    WHATS TO COME
    The “pocket” park, which began construction about two weeks ago, will feature public seating, a bike rack and landscaping that will fill the entire corner lot.
    The design for the new park was created by Becker Morgan Group, of which Moore is the vice president. The total price tag for the project is $108,000, according to Neaton.
    “It will make downtown a more pleasant place to be,” he said. “As far as actual economic impact, nobody will have to pay to use it.”
    Adding pocket parks to downtown was one of the items included in the master plan for downtown Dover that was created five years ago when the DART transit center was moved three blocks west of its previous location on Water Street, Moore said.
    The new space also will match with the previous improvements made on North Street and will retain Dover’s historic feel, he added.
    “It will have brick sidewalks and will look historic,” he said. “It will provide city with nice, elevated areas for additions to their flower planting program, which is loved throughout the city. The planters will allow for that.”
    The “pocket” park is slated for completion by the end of July, according to Neaton.
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