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Benefits of Downtown Development grants highlighted in Gov. Markell's weekly message

Downtown Development Districts
Delaware Public Media
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Developing Delaware’s downtowns was this theme of Governor Markell’s weekly message.

Guest hosted by Anas Ben Addi, Delaware State Housing Authority Director, the message touted the success of downtown development grants in all three first state counties.

Those grants, he said, have leveraged over $100 million in private investment to refurbish buildings that house small businesses, create green space and build new housing. Those projects must be in line with larger goals of revitalizing the larger community, he said.

"By bringing more projects like these to Delaware, we can unleash the untapped potential of our cities at a time when more people are seeking dynamic and exciting urban environments," said Addi.

And Addi adds the state hopes to build quickly on the initial momentum generated.

"The State Housing Authority has announced a second round of funding for Downtown Development Districts: that's $8 million in grants for investments," said Addi.

Those investments will be used for the expansion or new construction of commercial, industrial, residential and mixed-use buildings.

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Full text of Gov. Markell's weekly message (delivered byDelaware State Housing Authority Director Anas Ben Addi):

Healthy and vibrant downtowns are critical components of Delaware’s economic well-being and quality of life.

With urban areas across the country growing rapidly, we must ensure our cities are attractive places to live, work, and visit – to raise a family and to start and expand a business. It’s why we started the Downtown Development District program, designed to spur private investments that renovate old properties, build new ones, and revitalize neighborhoods.

Funding approved by the General Assembly has allowed us to provide $5.6 million in grants for projects in our first downtown districts in Wilmington, Dover, and Seaford. Those grants have leveraged an additional $114 million in private investment to refurbish buildings that house small businesses, create green space and build new housing. And we ensure the goals of each individual project contribute to our larger goal to promote thriving local communities and strong economies.

In Seaford, we broke ground this past week on the Residences at River Place, a project that will create homes for more than 70 Delaware families and stimulate job growth. Recently we also celebrated the completion of two home renovation projects in Dover.

And the State Housing Authority has announced a second round of funding for Downtown Development Districts: that's $8 million in grants for investments in rehabilitation, along with expansion or new construction of commercial, industrial, residential and mixed-use buildings.

By bringing more projects like these to Delaware, we can unleash the untapped potential of our cities at a time when more people are seeking dynamic and exciting urban environments. And that, will keep Delaware moving forward.

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