DSHA Announces Downtown Development Districts Funding Awards

DOVER – Twelve downtown revitalization projects in Milford, Smyrna and Wilmington have been selected to receive funding through Delaware’s Downtown Development Districts (DDD) program, with $5.5 million in rebates leveraging $103 million in total investment, Governor John Carney and the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) announced today.

Established in May 2014, the DDD program was created to spur private capital investment in commercial business districts and other neighborhoods; stimulate job growth and improve the commercial vitality of our cities and towns; and help build a stable community of long-term residents in our downtowns and other neighborhoods.

Since the first reservation awards in April 2015, the DDD program has been a catalyst for private investment in Delaware’s downtowns. With these new reservation awards, $31.6 million in rebates through the program has leveraged $597 million in private investment in designated downtown districts in all three counties.

“This latest round of Downtown Development Districts funding will continue our commitment to revitalizing our downtown business districts and surrounding neighborhoods,” said Governor Carney. “These investments are a vital tool in our economic development toolbox and will have a long-term impact on these communities.”

“DSHA is pleased to support these new projects that will renovate empty and vacant buildings, create homes, and bring businesses and jobs to our downtowns,” said Anas Ben Addi, Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority. “Community development is central to our mission, and we are encouraged by the continued strong interest in the Downtown Development District program in all eight districts.”

Investments eligible for DDD rebate funds include capital investments on rehabilitation, expansion or new construction for commercial, industrial, residential or mixed-use buildings within the district boundaries. Rebates are issued after the project is completed. Qualified applicants include property owners, tenants, for-profit developers, nonprofit organizations, businesses and homeowners.

By utilizing a DDD large project reservation award, investors Randy Dawson and Kaushik Shah plan to renovate and repurpose the former Metal Masters/Harris Manufacturing plant located at 655 Glenwood Avenue in Smyrna. At more than 170,000 square feet, the building will be repurposed for warehousing, recreational and light manufacturing use, and the investors also plan to create a farmers’ market that will provide approximately 72,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space for tenants to sell merchandise, food, crafts, and more. “The building we are renovating has been vacant and neglected for a number of years. This Downtown Development Districts reservation award will allow us the opportunity to bring the site back to life in a meaningful way for the residents of Smyrna,” Shah said.

In Milford, investor and business owner Lisa Johnson plans to complete extensive renovations of a restaurant building in the Riverwalk Center at 249 NE Front Street. The restaurant will include a bar and areas for general and fine dining as well as event spaces for catered meetings or parties. Johnson currently operates a private events business. “We are excited to be receiving this reservation award from the Downtown Development Districts program. This award will allow us to expand upon our growing business in Milford and gives us the opportunity to provide the residents of the city with a new dining option.”

DDD Rebate Large Project Reservation Award Details


  • Benvenuto LLC plans to use a DDD large project reservation award for extensive renovations of the restaurant building at 249 NE Front Street. Renovations will consist of removing and opening up walls, removing carpeting, rewiring the building, expanding the restrooms for ADA compliance, building new storage areas, replacing walls, ceiling tiles and lighting and updating the alarm system and security cameras. The investors plan to open a restaurant in the building later this year.
  • Mispillion Street Partners LLC plans to construct four 12-unit condominium buildings (48 total units) to be situated along the Mispillion River at 401 Mispillion Street. This will be new construction on a vacant lot, and units will consist of two and three bedroom options available for renters or buyers. Each unit will have a panoramic view of the Mispillion River and be a short walk to the downtown shopping district.



  • Shadaw Enterprises LLC plans to completely restore and fit out the former Metal Masters/Harris Manufacturing plant located at 655 Glenwood Avenue. The building is vacant and neglected and in need of significant renovations including demolition of walls and structures, roof replacement and repairs, new insulation, a new electrical distribution system, new plumbing and HVAC systems and fire alarm, surveillance and technology wiring throughout the building. Upon completion of renovation work, the building will be repurposed for warehousing, recreational and light manufacturing use, and the investors also plan to create a farmers’ market that will provide approximately 72,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space for tenants to sell merchandise, food, crafts, and other items.


  • 9th and Tatnall LLC plans to construct a new building housing 34 apartment units and two ground floor retail spaces on the southeastern corner of North Tatnall Street and West 9th Street. The investor has assembled seven parcels (226 West 9th Street, 836, 838, 840, 842 and 844 North Tatnall Street and 11 Girard Street) with the plan to demolish a fire-damaged central portion of one of the consolidated parcels and part of a garage complex facing onto Girard Street in order to construct the new building. The project will include a mix of three-story historic buildings and a five-story newly constructed building slotted in between.
  • 105 West 7th LLC plans to demolish three existing vacant buildings (103, 105 and 109 West 7th Street) and construct a new building containing 30 market-rate multifamily units with six units on each of five floors.
  • 210 Market Cooper LLC plans to create a mixed-use, ground-up development on the 200 block of N. Market Street. The project will consist of the demolition (some facades exempted) of the existing structures at 206, 210, 212, 214 and 216 N. Market St. as well as 221 and 225 N. King Street. The development will include 90 market-rate apartment units as well as ground floor retail space and parking.
  • 627 Market LLC plans to fit-out the retail space at 627 N. Market Street for a modern Chinese food concept restaurant called Tom’s Dim Sum. The investor previously used a DDD reservation for the renovation of the apartments and general work done on the façade of the building.
  • 901 Market Associates LLC plans to renovate the Market Tower Building at 901 N. Market Street to create studio, one and two bedroom apartments totaling 68 units over 11 floors. Floors one through three will be renovated into new functional commercial and retail space totaling over 16,000 square feet.
  • BPG Real Estate Services LLC plans to renovate the existing retail space at 838 N. Market Street in order to fit out the space for the installation of a bank branch at the site. The project will also include substantial work on the exterior of the building in order to create an appropriate entrance and signage for the branch.
  • Quaker Arts LLC plans to upgrade four existing buildings (708-710, 801, 816 and 822 West Street) into 53 apartments with a preference for artists. The four existing buildings will be converted into affordable housing for individuals and families with incomes ranging between 30 and 80 percent of Area Median Income. The units will range in size from efficiencies to three-bedroom units as well as six units set aside for special needs populations. Building amenities will include community and meeting rooms, music rooms, a fitness studio, computer lab and communal laundry facilities.
  • The Mill – Wilmington LLC plans to further grow The Mill co-working space located within the Nemours Building at 1007 N. Orange Street by 10,000 additional square feet. The current space will be rehabbed to meet the needs of the project.
  • The Warner 927 LLC plans to renovate the building at the corner of 10th and Orange Streets. The property is a multifamily mixed-use building that was constructed in 1923. The building includes two ground floor commercial spaces, four residential units and two underutilized units that will be converted to residential. The majority of the renovation work will occur in the six residential units. Renovation work will include new bathrooms, kitchens, HVAC, painting, floorcovering, roof and façade. One of the ground floor commercial spaces will be redeveloped for a new restaurant concept.

DSHA Launches New Homeownership Website

DOVER, DE – For anyone in Delaware looking to buy a home, Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) has launched a new website that provides convenient and detailed information about the authority’s homeownership programs and the home-buying process. The website, www.kissyourlandlordgoodbye.com, connects potential homebuyers in the state with resources on low interest mortgage loans, down payment assistance, the Delaware First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit and more.

“Purchasing a home can be one of the most rewarding decisions someone can make. Owning a home can provide a sense of security, independence and pride,” said DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi. “In addition to the benefits owning a home has for the individual or family, we also know that encouraging homeownership helps strengthen and support our communities and can reduce crime. This new website will be an invaluable tool for DSHA and will allow us to help more Delawareans achieve the dream of homeownership.” 

“This is an incredible resource for our customers,” said Don Byrom Jr. (NMLS#709360), a loan officer at M&T Bank, CRA Mortgage Division. “We often hear from those looking to buy a home that they are unsure of where to start in the process. DSHA’s new website will now be that starting point where potential homebuyers can go for more information to begin their journey to buying a home.”

For potential homebuyers who are ready to take the next step in the process, DSHA’s new website provides information on participating lenders, housing counselors and realtors who work directly with the authority to offer homeownership loans and down payment and closing cost assistance.

DSHA officially unveiled the new website at the 2019 Delaware Homebuyer Fair on April 13, where more than 400 potential homebuyers received information on finding properties, obtaining low-cost financing, down payment assistance, home inspections and maintenance and budgeting.

Governor Carney: “When we revitalize and bring back neighborhoods like this and strengthen neighborhoods across our city, we’re strengthening our state”

Carney attends ribbon-cutting and groundbreaking for Phases I and II of Flats Redevelopment

Phase II of Flats Redevelopment in Wilmington
Governor Carney joins in the groundbreaking of Phase II of the Flats redevelopment.

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney today helped celebrate progress toward housing redevelopment in the Flats neighborhood in Wilmington. Phases I and II of the Flats project, being redeveloped by the Todmorden Foundation and the Woodlawn Trustees, were supported by $6.5 million from Delaware’s Housing Development Fund, overseen by the Delaware State Housing Authority.

“First and foremost, this is about a community on the West Side – a strong community in our city,” said Governor Carney. “It’s about the people who live there. It’s about workforce housing. But to put a housing project together like this takes a big team and a big partnership. It should go without saying that as goes the City of Wilmington, so goes the State of Delaware. And when we revitalize and bring back neighborhoods like this and strengthen neighborhoods across our city, we’re strengthening our state. I want to thank all of the people who made this project possible, and I want to congratulate and thank the people who will live in the Flats.”


Building and Sustaining a Stronger, More Prosperous Delaware

Revitalizing Delaware Downtowns

Dover, DE – In the weeks ahead, the Governor’s office will release a series of videos highlighting the progress the state has made over the past eight years through the voices of Delawareans. They will address ways in which the lives of Delawareans today, and generations to come, are being affected by efforts to strengthen our schools, develop cleaner and more efficient energy, make the state a safer and more welcoming place for all people, improve recreational and cultural options, and create more economic development and opportunity.

In conjunction with today’s event recognizing Homeownership Month, the below video addresses the impact of one initiative: the Downtown Development Districts program, which has leveraged almost $10 million into $160 million in private investment across all three counties. Through the DDD program, the state is encouraging private developers to re-invest in Delaware’s downtown areas. In Downtown Dover, as you’ll see below, the program already is helping support new, affordable homeownership opportunities.

In addition to improvements as a result of the DDD program, the Delaware State Housing Authority has continued to promote homeownership through low-cost mortgage loans, its down payment assistance programs and first-time homebuyer tax credits. Since 2009, more than 5,500 Delaware families have purchased a home with DSHA assistance, and growth of Delaware’s homeownership rate has outpaced regional and national trends. Access to low rates and settlement assistance through DSHA’s programs helped sustain demand through the economic recovery.

Excerpts from the video:

“As we start to transform some of the neighborhood blocks, bring in homeownership and provide affordable housing that helps to stabilize the area makes the business investment more attractive,” Ann Marie Townshend, Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Dover, said. “We’re working equally as hard to work with the business community to bring in additional businesses to get some of the commercial properties renovated and built.”

“What we’re able to do is create that affordable homeownership by keeping the cost of construction down and by also raising funds to use the DDD funds and leveraging those to other organizations, so we can make this affordable homeownership possible,” Jonathon Gallo, Executive Director of Central Habitat for Humanity, said.

“I think the state should always invest in their communities. This isn’t a bad place,” Alicia Jarvis, Kirkwood Street Homeowner, said. “Dover is a great place and what I see what’s coming along on this street alone is an awesome experience.”

The video series will be released via email as well as on the Governor’s YouTube channel. This week’s video is available on:

YouTube: https://youtu.be/pixtyzQxLsA
Delaware.Gov: http://governor.delaware.gov/podcast_video.shtml
By email: Please contact our press team to subscribe to our press list
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/governormarkell
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/governormarkell

Governor’s Weekly Message: Expanding Opportunities to Promote Homeownership

Wilmington, DE – In his weekly message, Governor Markell talks about the benefits of homeownership and the effort to expand those opportunities through access to credit and financing assistance and financial literacy education, and partnerships among government, non-profits and the business community to drive accessible and affordable housing development statewide.

“Owning a home is part of the American Dream. Promoting homeownership is a good way to improve peoples’ lives, and the Delaware State Housing Authority has led our effort to expand those opportunities through programs like our first-time homebuyer tax credit and the Home Again initiative for repeat homebuyers,” Governor Markell said. “Our Downtown Development Districts are providing incentives to developers to build near employment centers and close to public transportation, and we’ve increased homeownership opportunities for Delawareans across income levels. These initiatives demonstrate the good we can do by working across agencies, with not-for-profits and the business community to solve problems for real people, and thanks to these partnerships Delaware’s homeownership rate today is the third highest in the country. That’s an advantage as we compete in the global marketplace for new businesses and new jobs. And that will keep Delaware moving forward.”

Every week, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form. The message is available on:

YouTube: https://youtu.be/qCYHNX7O08c
By email: Please contact our press team to subscribe to our press list
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Transcript of the Governor’s Weekly Message: Expanding Opportunities to Promote Homeownership