Opportunity for Delaware local governments to designate a downtown district for economic development. Applicants are required to attend a pre-application workshop. The purpose of this program is to encourage capital investments in the district, promote job growth and improve commercial vitality.
The Downtown Development Districts Act of 2014 (the Act) was enacted by the General Assembly in order to:
- Spur private capital investment in commercial business districts and other neighborhoods;
- Stimulate job growth and improve the commercial vitality of such districts and neighborhoods;
- Help build a stable community of long term residents by improving housing opportunities; and
- Assist local governments in strengthening neighborhoods while harnessing the attraction that vibrant downtowns hold for talented people, innovative small businesses and residents from all walks of life.
Local governments that wish to take advantage of this program must identify a downtown district in their community and apply for designation.
There are four primary components of the application for designation as a District:
- The capacity to administer the DDD program if designated;
- The need and impact of the District designation;
- The quality of the District Plan
- The quality of the local incentives offered
Starting with the FY19 application cycle there is a stronger emphasis on identifying Key Priority Projects in the District Plan. Key Priority Projects are:
“A specific project identified in the District Plan that is considered by the applicant to be a potential catalyst for other redevelopment activity and contribute to superior urban design or other benefits to the District. Key Priority Projects are specific projects that are expected to provide significant positive impacts to the District should they be implemented. These projects will receive priority scoring for funding through the DDD Rebate program, and may receive other benefits, such as enhanced marketing, through the DDD program.”
The Downtown Development District program is designed to provide designated Districts within local governments where the local government and the State will partner to provide a suite of incentives to encourage redevelopment and revitalization. As such, it is very important that the boundaries for these Districts remain consistent over time to ensure predictability to investors and developers and also to concentrate the redevelopment activities so that they may catalyze additional redevelopment.
Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)
Additional Eligibility Criteria
Local governments interested in having a Downtown Development District designated in their communities must fill out the official application form that is available from the Office of State Planning Coordination.
The District Administrator and other local government staff, consultants, elected and appointed officials are expected to attend the annual DDD Workshop. This workshop is hosted by OSPC and DSHA, and is an opportunity to discuss important program requirements and updates and share best practices among Districts. It is usually held in the summer. There may be other workshops or meetings throughout the year as well.
Applicants are urged to talk with the OSPC early in the application cycle to resolve any questions or issues to ensure that a complete application is submitted. For purposes of this program, a timely manner means that a written response will be provided in no more than 30 days from the receipt of the request.
District designations last for 10 years, and the Committee can consider up to two five year extensions.
Applications must be mailed or hand delivered to:
Mrs. Constance C. Holland, AICP Director
122 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. S.
Dover, DE 19901
To request assistance or if you have questions about any part of this application or the program in general please contact your Circuit Rider Planner at the Office of State Planning Coordination, (302) 739-3090.