Wilmington added to 3 areas in Delaware for downtown development

Wilmington is set to soon reap many benefits after being designated a Downtown Developed District, thanks to a program that helps revitalize under-served areas.

“I’m ecstatic! I believe this will motivate more development projects to come to fruition in the city,” said Councilwoman Hanifa Shabazz.

According to Shabazz, development will be focused in a portion of the downtown area near the city’s East side neighborhood.

Wilmington isn’t alone. Seaford and Dover will also see some benefits.  The three cities were among nine applicants chosen based on need and impact under the state’s Downtown Development Districts (DDDs) program.

“In addition to demonstrating significant need, each of the winning applicants submitted thoughtful plans with detailed strategies to strengthen neighborhoods, spur private investment, and improve housing opportunities for residents of all walks of life,” Gov. Jack Markell, D-Del., said.

What that means is that the selected cities will be entitled to receive significant development incentives under the program. In fact, real estate investors who deicide to set up shop in DDDs could receive grants of up to 20% of the cost of their investments.

“The City anticipates this program will serve as a catalyst to trigger new revitalization efforts, which will lead to more jobs, fewer blighted areas, and the development of a vibrant downtown and nearby neighborhoods,” Mayor Dennis Williams said.

Delaware introduced the program last year which models a similar one in Virginia where under-served areas were successfully developed.

“I would like to thank Gov. Markell and the General Assembly for working collaboratively to successfully create the Downtown Development Districts program,” Williams added.

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