Seaford Towne Center Could "Revitalize City" - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Seaford Towne Center Could "Revitalize City"

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SEAFORD, Del - Currently there's not much to find at the intersection of Water and North streets in downtown Seaford. Although adjacent to a beautiful view of the Nanticoke River, the property is currently nothing but a vacant lot, with over-grown grass. 

But developers have a far more different image for not only this intersection, but also the whole area adjacent to the waterway. 

The developer David Perlmutter has already gotten approval for the construction of three residential buildings, including two that will sit by that intersection. Perlmutter said he is hopeful to start construction as soon as September. 

But with construction of this project not even started, Perlmutter said he is already turning toward another, more massive project.

On Thursday night, the Seaford Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing on a proposal to build the "Seaford Towne Center," a venture that would include a shopping strip, restaurants, a hotel, and even a galleria. The entire center would be adjacent to the already approved apartment complexes. 

"Why not Seaford," said architect Keith Fisher.

Fisher said the designation of Seaford as a Downtown Development District was crucial to this project becoming a reality. For the already approved apartment complex, the developers received $671,000 in a state grant. 

The developers are looking to invest almost $100 million on the project, according to Perlmutter. He said the opportunity for grant money was part of the reason he took the risk. 

As with many downtown areas, Seaford has long suffered from an economic slump, and Fisher said he was hopeful that this could help turn the area around. 

"We hope it will bring commerce back," he said. "We hope that it will increase the lifestyle of people. We hope it will be a genesis for all the surrounding areas to bring them back to what they once were." 

The major question will be over whether the development can attract tenants. Perlmutter said he was confident, and was already in conversations with possible businesses. He described one "big fish" that was potentially interested, although he would not elaborate. 

City Manager Dolores Slatcher said that this was the biggest project she has ever seen come through City Hall. 

"I'm optimistic," she said. "But I'm also being conservative. I'm being a little guarded. Absolutely if this comes to fruition, it's going to be absolutely one of the best things." 

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