Applying for a DDD Designation

How can a Delaware local government apply for a DDD designation?

The first step in becoming a Downtown Development District (DDD) requires the local government (municipality or county) to complete an application and create a District Plan. The DDD Application, Application Guidelines Booklet, and a Census spreadsheet are now available for download on the Downtown Development Districts website. Completed applications are due on or before November 1, 2014. The application process is being administered by the Office of State Planning Coordination.

What factors will be considered in evaluating applications for District designation?

The main criteria in the evaluation of applications include:

  1. Need and Impact – This factor includes consideration of the unemployment rate, median income, rate of homeownership, and prevalence of vacant and abandoned houses in the municipality.
  2. Quality of District Plan – Because the local government’s overall development plan is crucial to ensure orderly growth, a quality District Plan is an important evaluation factor
  3. Quality of Local Incentives – The effective operation and management of Districts requires partnerships between state and local governments. High-quality local incentives are an important indicator of a municipality’s commitment to that partnership, and are a critical part of helping Districts reach their full potential.

What development incentives will be available for builders within DDDs?

Subject to funding, investors in the selected Districts may receive grants of up 20 percent of their construction costs (such as exterior, interior, and structural improvements). Grants will be available for all types of projects (residential, commercial, and mixed-use), and may be used by for-profit builders and investors, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and homeowners. The grants will be administered by the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA).

In addition to the above grants, state agencies will provide additional incentives for qualified activity within Districts. For example, DSHA will offer additional funding to renovate vacant and abandoned houses in DDDs, and several state agencies (including DelDOT) will prioritize work in Districts. In addition, under Senate Bill 292, a percentage of the state’s existing Historic Preservation Tax Credits will be designated to fund qualifying projects in DDDs, recognizing that this tax credit has been a powerful tool in not only preserving historic structures but also in revitalizing communities.

How can my local government obtain more information?

Please see the Downtown Development District website: http://stateplanning.delaware.gov/ddd/


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