DOVER, Del.- Dover's downtown area is on the cusp of significant changes as developers reveal their plans to transform it.
The Downtown Dover Partnership has hired Mosaic Development Partners to imagine the Capital City 2030: Transforming Downtown Dover Master Plan.
Mosaic Development Partners presented the plan to Dover community members Wednesday night at the Kent County Levy Court.
The plan is the result of input from more than 600 residents, business owners and city leaders.
Diane Laird, DDP executive director, shared some of the most exciting details.
"It includes several mixed use projects which would encompass room for new residents as well as parking and even a small scale grocery store," she said. "Most of the mixed use developments would also include rooftop amenities like restaurants and fire pits."
Laird said several public properties have been identified for re-development, many including long standing vacant buildings on Loockerman Street.
DDP also said plans for a river walk and an amphitheater are being considered.
Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen acknowledged some concerns about the possible changes, saying "I've heard the word that I really don't like to hear and that's gentrification."
Christiansen believes the advantages will far outweigh the drawbacks though.
"I think it will bring new businesses and it will help Delaware State University's downtown campus," the mayor said. "It will also provide affordable housing which we need."
Laird said $1.2 million in critical improvement grants will be a big help. Though DDP plans to continue requesting more funds from the state.
DDP is also looking to hire a property development director. That person would be responsible for recruiting developers and coming up with financing techniques. DDP says once that role is filled, the timeline for the master plan will become much more clear.