Dover Wants People to Apply for Downtown Money - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Wants People to Apply for Downtown Money

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Dover is trying to get the word out on how people can take advantage of more than $2 million it got through the state's new Downtown Development District program.

The city hosted three meetings Thursday to give people who might be considering projects for downtown the information they need to apply for some of that money.

Michael Maupin was at the morning meeting. He is a developer with a company specializing in blighted areas and low-income housing.

Maupin actually came down from suburban philadelphia to learn more about dover's downtown development district. He's never worked in dover before.

"I went from zero to 60," he said. "I had probably no interest in investing before this program, before I heard about it."

Now Maupin says he definitely is interested.

Bill Neaton, executive director of the Downtown Dover Partnership, says he's also spoken with large Delaware developers about the program. In fact, he's sat down at least a dozen interested parties and says there have already been some applications submitted.

"We really believe that there have been some projects that have been sitting on the shelf and that these downtown development district incentives will take them off the shelf."

the $2 million-plus is allowing Dover to offer tax breaks, rebates, incentives, grants, fee waivers to many potential projects to help improve in the 220-acre downtown development district, which spreads far beyond central downtown and Loockerman Street.

"If you don't improve the surrounding area, then all the effort in the main street corridor itself goes for naught," Neaton said.

There were lots of ideas flowing through people at the meeting. WBOC spoke with people who want to see new housing, new restaurants, even the return of a supermarket in the downtown area.

State lawmakers approved the Downtown Development District program last year. Gov. Jack Markell chose one town in each county - Dover, Seaford and Wilmington - to split the $7 million set aside for it.

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