by Terry Rogers
Bradley Gillis, Principal with Devreco Development Real Estate Company and Senior Adviser for SVN-Miller Commercial Real Estate, said that his company decided to purchase the former Multicultural Church building because it is a “solid market with unlimited potential.” The company plans to remodel the building for retail and office spaces.
“With the new hospital and the spinoff that will occur because of the hospital, the market in Milford is growing rapidly,” Gillis said. “Milford also has a very strong, vibrant downtown and our company loves downtowns. In fact, we spend more time living, working and playing in downtown Salisbury than anywhere else. This project will add jobs and will be a huge asset to the community.”
Gillis said that they do not plan to demolish the building but instead will convert it to a space designed for high-rent commercial businesses. Although they have no tenants lined up for the new venture, Gillis said that he doesn’t expect there to be any problem filling the spaces with the way Milford’s downtown and surrounding area are growing.
Devreco began in 1983 by Palmer Gillis and Tony Gilkerson. The company gained recognition in 1990 when they worked with a doctor who needed a 2,400 square foot office space. Gillis and Gilkerson proposed purchasing a larger parcel of land to build a larger facility that would include a turn-key, move-in ready suite within a professional office condominium park that would house multiple offices and retail units. This allowed the doctor to save significant time and money, so they could focus on their business functions rather than stumbling through permitting and real estate development issues.
The idea of a turn-key, full service real estate solution was new to the area, but soon grew in popularity among Delmarva medical and professional communities. Healthcare and other professionals began to rely on Devreco to solve their office space needs. The company offers flexible design-build, fast-track approach and allowed clients to solve their office needs.
“We focus on historically significant or older buildings to remodel into more functional spaces,” Gillis said. “We will be applying for a Downtown Development District grant to offset the cost of the remodeling project. If we are successful, construction will begin quickly. We want to fit the building into the downtown area. The work DelDOT is doing in downtown with the new bike and pedestrian path as well as additional streetscaping is another reason this building worked well with our plans. This is the first project we have done in Eastern Sussex. We have done a significant number of projects in Western Sussex and Salisbury, but we are excited for this venture.”
The building was originally built to house Fisher Appliances and Furniture by Edwin “Ed” Fisher who passed away in 1993. The store began as an appliance store, but eventually began selling records, furniture and electronics. At one time, the late Ted Fisher, Ed Fisher’s son, acted as a DJ, spinning records on Friday and Saturday night to entertain teens and young adults. After Fisher Appliances closed in the early 90s, the building was leased by the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club who used it until they built a new building on Airport Road.
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.