DOVER — Anybody who has not seen firsthand the Capital City 2030: Transforming Downtown Dover master plan is welcome to hear all about the ambitious view of the future on Wednesday.
The Mosaic Development Partners planning development team will present an overview of the plan at 6 p.m. at Kent County Levy Court at 555 S. Bay Road in Dover.
Mosaic, a firm based out of Philadelphia, was contracted by the Downtown Dover Partnership in 2021 to create an actionable plan for redevelopment and investment.
The plan includes the studies and work of consultants KimleyHorn, Econsult Solutions and Bernadon, as well as interviews with about 600 people, ranging from residents, business owners, city leaders and others.
Highlights of Mosaic’s vision include new parks — including an amphitheater and a riverwalk — hundreds of residences, a multimodal transit hub, grocery store and two parking garages.
Mosaic was established in 2008 under its founders Leslie Smallwood–Lewis and Gregory Reaves. Both wanted to focus on working on neighborhoods that needed redevelopment and capital investment.
“It’s been a yearlong process to engage the community and look at best practices and come up with a plan,” said Diane Laird, the executive director of the Downtown Dover Partnership. “This is quite an investment in time, energy and funding to address the core of Delaware’s capital city that has continued to suffer from decline and disinvestment for many years.
“This plan identifies needs, opportunities and strategies for redevelopment and reinvestment in this high-priority target area, and details implementation and reinvestment strategies to guide the community to an equitable, sustainable and economically sound future.”
The process to develop the Downtown Dover Strategic Master Plan invites grass-roots input by engaging the community at sessions like the one scheduled for Wednesday at Kent County Levy Court.
The presentation will include implementation and investment strategies to guide redevelopment and reinvestment in downtown Dover, with the goal of bringing the core of commerce and housing to its highest potential by 2030.
The target area is designated as a Downtown Development District and also as an Opportunity Zone, indicating that this is the high-priority target area for redevelopment and reinvestment.
The area is adjacent to the state legislative campus, City Hall, the public library, numerous state offices, The Green, the new Dover Post Office and Family Court locations,and other amenities.
Dover City Councilman David Anderson said he is a believer in Mosaic’s proposals to breathe life back into downtown Dover, which has struggled to maintain successful businesses, attract homeowners and fight crime for the past several years.
“We have 95% of the pieces in place. We just need to close the deal,” he said. “We can’t stop where we are, and I think that, if we commit with our partners with a strong commitment, if we’re going to make this work, it will work. It will work if our business community believes it will work.
“I think we will gather the partners, and we will gather the investments, and we will make it happen because there is something about belief that is contagious.”
Staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at 302-741-8230 or email@example.com. Follow @MikeFinneyDSN on Twitter.