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Gov. Carney designates four cities as Downtown Development Districts

Sarah Mueller
Gov. John Carney speaks about Delaware Development District. Also pictured is Housing Authority Director Anas Ben Addi and State Rep. Jeff Spiegelman.

More cities across the state are eligible for the Downtown Development District program.

Gov. John Carney is designating New Castle City, Middletown, Clayton and Delaware City as Downtown Development Districts.

The selections mean property owners and developers can get up to 20 percent of their construction costs refunded back to them for eligible redevelopment projects.

State Rep. Jeff Speigleman represents parts of Middletown and Clayton. He said plenty of projects in the eight other development districts would not have gotten done without this program. He points to the House of Coffi in Dover as one example.

“Right around the corner from Legislative Hall, which has become a meeting place for legislators and lawyers," he said. "One of those like neat little coffee shops that people love where a lot of us get business done, doesn’t happen without the DDD.”

Carney said the program is very successful and will help the economies of smaller cities and towns by leveraging state funding and private investment.

“It’s also a signal that the economic development efforts of the state are not just geared towards larger businesses and large corporations and big banks, which are an important part of our economy, but small businesses as well,” he said.

Former Gov. Jack Markell designated the eight current Downtown Development Districts, which include Dover, Seaford, Harrington, Georgetown and Wilmington.

Lawmakers approved $8.5 million for downtown redevelopment in this year’s budget. Delaware State Housing Authority Director Anas Ben Addi said the program has issued $31.6 million in rebates, leveraging $597 million in private investment.

A previous version of this story listed Claymont as one of the new Downtown Development Districts.  It has been changed to Clayton.  Delaware Public Media apologizes for the error.

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