Delaware’s downtown development program gets Sussex County boost

This planned new multimillion dollar residential project in Seaford got funding through the Downtown Development Program. Sussex County hopes to draw even more development through their support for the program. (photo courtesy: Fisher Architecture LLC)

This planned new multimillion dollar residential project in Seaford got funding through the Downtown Development Program. Sussex County hopes to draw even more development through their support for the program. (photo courtesy: Fisher Architecture LLC)

Efforts to spur development in downtown areas in Delaware are getting an assist in Sussex County. 

Delaware’s Downtown Development District program was created by Governor Jack Markell to encourage private developers to build in designated downtown areas throughout the state. The program provides rebates of up to 20 percent of the construction costs for residential, commercial and industrial redevelopment projects that qualify.

Now, Sussex County is upping the ante in the districts in southern Delaware which are Georgetown, Laurel, Milford and Seaford. “Sussex County needs to be at the table with our partners to help leverage those private dollars that invest in our communities and make them stronger,” said Sussex County Council President Michael Vincent. “Economic development is everyone’s business: the state, the county and the towns.”

Sussex will provide a 50 percent match to any state grant approved in eligible districts in the county, up to a $10,000 per project. The county voted at it’s Tuesday meeting to set aside $100,000 from the realty transfer tax reserves to pay for the grants.

Vincent said the Downtown Development District program has already helped draw a multimillion dollar residential project along the waterfront in Seaford. He hopes the additional grant money from the county will help spur even more projects.

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