Ten downtown revitalization projects in Laurel, Georgetown, Dover and Wilmington have been selected for Delaware's Downtown Development District Program rebates, with $4.3 million in rebates leveraging $53 million in total investment, Gov. John Carney and the Delaware State Housing Authority announced Feb. 19.
The DDD rebate program is a catalyst for private investment in Delaware's downtowns, with $21 million in rebates issued or allocated having leveraged $371 million in total investment in eight districts over the last three years.
"Downtown revitalization is a centerpiece of our commitment to reinvesting in Delaware and making our communities stronger,” said Carney. “A small amount of state funding has leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment, making these partnerships among the best in our state. These investments are a vital tool in our economic development toolbox and will have a long-term impact rippling out into surrounding neighborhoods.”
The administration’s proposed budget for fiscal 2019 includes $8.5 million for the DDD program, enabling the investments to continue across the state.
DSHA also announced the launch of the DDD StoryMap, an online tool developed with the University of Delaware that showcases projects in all eight districts. A link to the StoryMap is at destatehousing.com/ddd.
Investments eligible for Downtown Development District rebate funds include capital investments on rehabilitation, expansion or new construction for commercial, industrial, residential or mixed-use buildings within the district boundaries. Rebates are issued after the project is completed. Qualified applicants include property owners, tenants, for-profit developers, nonprofit organizations, businesses and homeowners.
A new funding round will be announced this spring for large projects in each of the districts. Small projects — investments of between $15,000 and $250,000 — are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year contingent upon funding.
The 10 projects selected for rebates in this round:
— Constructing 10 units (five duplexes) in the second phase of the townhome community of Villas on Broad Creek in Laurel.
— Expanding and rehabbing a building on East Laurel Street in Georgetown to include a laundry facility, coffee shop, beauty salon, apartments and office space.
— Building a 20,000-square-foot medical and professional office building in Dover.
— Renovation or redevelopment of four projects along Wilmington’s Market Street corridor: renovating the bar inside the Queen Theatre; redeveloping a vacant building into a hotel and restaurant; converting an office building into mixed-use retail and residential space; and redeveloping a building into a restaurant and apartments.
— Redeveloping a church building on Lombard Street in Wilmington into an employment training center, fresh produce retail operation, office space and multipurpose community space.
— Redeveloping a building on North West Street in Wilmington into a commercial laundry and office space.
— Redeveloping a former cabinet manufacturer on North Church Street in Wilmington to house a church sanctuary, offices, classroom space and community center.