Downtown Development Districts

What are Downtown Development Districts (DDDs)?

Healthy and vibrant downtowns are critical components of Delaware’s economic well-being and quality of life. To help Delaware downtowns and neighborhoods become vibrant and healthy places, “Downtown Development Districts” were authorized by the Delaware General Assembly 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 municipalities in strengthening neighborhoods while harnessing the attraction that vibrant downtowns hold for talented people, innovative small businesses and residents from all walks of life.

Why were DDDs created?

Downtown Development Districts, authorized by Senate Bill 191 on June 5, 2014, establish economic development incentives that promote revitalization of Delaware’s downtowns. In Governor Jack Markell’s weekly message of August 8, 2014 he states, “Downtown Development Districts will spur private capital investment in commercial business districts, stimulate job growth, help build a stable community of long term residents by improving housing opportunities; and strengthen our neighborhoods. By spurring economic activity in our downtowns, Delaware will attract more talented people, innovative small businesses and residents from all walks of life. And that will keep Delaware moving forward.”

Visual resources

Adobe Spark Page on Downtown Development Districts

The Downtown Development District Spark Page highlights incentives offered by each of Delaware’s eight DDD communities designated in 2015 and 2016.  Within the Spark Page, view statewide DDD and City of Dover interactive maps, a video on the City of Milford’s DDD, and project photos.

Downtown Development Districts Spark Page

GIS StoryMap on Downtown Development Districts

This GIS StoryMap showcases downtown development districts as a tool to achieve a sustainable and resilient community. This story maps presents narratives along with visual examples of what has happened since implementation of the DDD program in 2014.

Screen shot of GIS Story Map featuring Downtown Development Districts


Next to Applying for a DDD Designation

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