City expands Downtown Development District

Terry Rogers Business, Government, Headlines, Milford Headline Story

Penny Square was one of the projects assisted by DDD funding in 2022 (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

At a recent meeting, Milford City Council expanded the acreage of the Downtown Development District, a program offered through the Delaware State Housing Authority. Those who are accepted into the DDD program are eligible for a refund of up to 20 percent of qualified real property investments made on residential, commercial, industrial and mixed-use buildings within the boundaries.

“If you recall, back in early June, we had a workshop where we analyzed a couple of options for our Downtown Development District expansion. And there was some concurrence from council to move forward with option one,” Rob Pierce, City Planner, said. “We made that submission to this State Planning Office before the before the end of June and it was on the July 18, Cabinet Committee on State Planning issues agenda.”

Pierce continued that he and Sara Bluhm, Economic Development and Community Engagement Administrator, attended the meeting where the state was very supportive of the expansion. The current DDD covers 184.89 acres and, with the expansion, would cover 199.90 acres.

“The expansion area is along South Washington Street from Southeast Second Street down to the ballpark entrance and some areas along Montgomery and Southeast Third,” Pierce explained.

The 200Front townhouses, designed to provide affordable housing, was a DDD project (Photo courtesy of Google maps)

Milford was accepted into the DDD program in 2016 and the initial area covered just over 170 acres of the town. In 2019, the area was expanded to include just over 185 acres. In addition to rebates on construction costs, those accepted into the program receive waivers on sewer, water and electric impact fees as well as building permit fees. Any rehabilitation project that increase the assessed value of the property by 50 percent or more receive a full abatement of city taxes for 10 years while those that increase the assessed value by less than 50 percent receive a partial tax abatement over ten years. New construction included in the program receive tax abatements for five years.

Several businesses took advantage of the DDD program in Milford in 2022 including 200Front LLC, a townhouse community on Northwest Front Street across from Avenue Church which provided nine affordable townhomes in the city’s northern historic district. The Penny Square building also benefitted from the program as well as the renovation of the former Rite Aid building by Jaasiel LLC. There were also 10 residences in the city that have benefitted from the DDD in 2022.

From 2015 to 2022, Milford projects have received $1,969,337 in DDD rebates representing $14,045,345 in private investment in the city. There have been five large and 47 small projects accepted into the program. For more information on the DDD program, contact Rob Pierce at 302-424-8396, Extension 1311 or visit

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