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DSU's footprint in downtown Dover to grow in entrepreneur partnership with nonprofit NCALL

DSU CURE rendering.jpg
Joe Irizarry, Delaware Public Media
Rendering of CURE Building set to be built on Division Street in downtown Dover.

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester announces federal funding for a partnership between Delaware State University and NCALL.

The project is the Center for Urban Revitalization and Entrepreneurship - and it is receiving one million dollars to help address the lack of small business incubators in Kent County and in Downtown Dover.

CURE will be on Division Street in Dover just a block from DSU’s downtown campus.

NCALL - a nonprofit specializing in affordable housing, development, education, and lending - will have its Restoring Central Dover program on the first floor there. That program is a resident-driven community development effort

The second floor will be a DSU-run shared business space to promote community-based entrepreneurship in Downtown Dover.

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester believes this will help more than Dover.

"This is an exciting opportunity for us to revitalize the Dover area, but also entrepreneurs throughout the state,” said Blunt Rochester. “And so to see this partnership come together with NCALL and Delaware State University as well as other partners to make the reality of a Center for Urban Revitalization is such a win."

Blunt Rochester notes DSU was one of the 10 applicants selected from a pool of 150 because it will have an effect on multiple areas like the economy, public safety, and the well-being of future generations.

DSU President Tony Allen says this is part of the university’s outreach to the community.

"Our ability to provide economic mobility is not just for our students, it really is for the communities we serve, and this is a big accelerator to that," said Allen.

NCALL has raised over one-point-two million dollars for the Center on top of the federal funding for the center.

Karen Speakman, Executive Director of NCALL, is very appreciative of the federal funding.

“This funding comes at a crucial time and will supplement the $1.24 million that NCALL has raised from various sources such as the Delaware’s Community Reinvestment Fund and the Longwood Foundation to make this building a reality. The Center is the result of many talks between NCALL and Delaware State University on how to we could both be more present in the community and provide a small business incubator for community-based entrepreneurship in downtown Dover.”

Construction of the building starts in the fall.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.