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$25 million 'jumpstart' to downtown Dover revitalization for apartments, shops, parking

The plans and hopes for major revitalization projects in downtown Dover received a multimillion-dollar boost toward reality Thursday.

This is the conceptual drawing by Mosaic Development Partners for a new building at 120 S. Governors Ave. in downtown Dover with commercial space on the ground floor with apartments above. Proided by The Downtown Dover Partnership

Ben Mace | Delaware News Journal | Feb 2, 2024

The plans and hopes for major revitalization projects in downtown Dover received a multimillion-dollar boost toward reality Thursday.

Gov. John Carney and Dover-area legislators announced the state’s plan to invest more than $25 million in three projects.

“This is the jumpstart downtown Dover has been waiting for, and we are proud to be a part of it,” said Carney in a press release. He was joined by state Sen. Trey Paradee, Rep. Sean Lynn and Rep. Kerri Evelyn Harris for the announcement.

Funding includes $15.1 million allocated by the governor from federal American Rescue Plan Act funds and $10 million in state funds proposed in the fiscal year 2025 bond bill which will be voted on by legislators.

The investments will help fund the Capital City 2030 strategic plan, completed in 2023, for new residences, businesses, parking and infrastructure upgrades.

What are the proposed projects?

Funds will be used by the city and the Downtown Dover Partnership to begin three projects:

  • A six-story retail and residential building at 120 S. Governors Ave., the former Acme supermarket site that is now Auto Plus Auto Parts. The plan is for a community grocery store, daycare and retail space on the ground floor and 140 to 180 apartments on the upper floors, with an estimated cost of about $80 million.

  • A transportation center between South Governors Avenue and South Bradford Street with more than 300 parking spaces including a parking garage, bus stop, bike sharing center and electric vehicle charging, to provide parking for downtown businesses and for the new retail-residential building. The estimated cost is $14 million.

  • Upgrades to the water and sewer systems downtown with a projected cost of $1.7 million.

This is one of the proposed designs for a transportation hub with a two-story parking garage and nearby apartments in the Downtown Dover Partnership's Capital City 2030 strategic plan. Provided By The Downtown Dover Partnership

“All I can say is wow,” said Todd Stonesifer, Downtown Dover Partnership chair, who thanked the governor and legislators for their support. “I believe the first of many projects are now a reality and the dominoes will begin to fall rapidly toward fulfilling our goal of a truly transformed capital city."

The Downtown Dover Partnership was formed in 2008 with the merger of the Downtown Dover Development Corporation, Main Street Dover and the Dover Parking Authority. Receiving funds from the city and grants, the nonprofit is run by a board of directors and committees of volunteers for economic development, public safety, design, organization, marketing and promotion of downtown.

Who's managing the building development plans?

Mosaic Development Partners, the team selected by the Downtown Dover Partnership to create the strategic plan, has also been selected by the Downtown Dover Partnership to develop the retail-residential building and the transportation hub and parking garage.

Stonesifer said Mosaic has a track record of successful redevelopment projects, mostly around Philadelphia, including at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Another partner in the project is Colonial Parking.

The state funding will be split between the city and the partnership and is expected to fully fund the utility work and the parking garage construction.

To finance the retail-residential building, a portion of the state funding will be added to private loans and investment, housing tax credits and grants. Like revitalization efforts in other cities and towns, state funding is often needed to match grants and encourage private investment. 

This postcard-style mural on Loockerman Street welcomes people to downtown Dover. Ben Mace, Delaware News Journal

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen said the “key building blocks for downtown’s future are coming into place.”

In addition to the retail-residential building and the transportation hub, plans include redeveloping the former post office on Loockerman Street and the construction of the new Family Court building and parking garage on South Governors Avenue.

“The City of Dover has a solid roadmap for its revitalization, building on efforts the city and its partners have been making over the last several years, and this state funding will make those plans a reality,” Christiansen said.

Reporter Ben Mace covers real estate and development news. Reach him at


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