Unlock your business dreams in Downtown Dover!

Unlock the Block will serve as a catalyst to reduce vacancies in the Downtown Dover Business Improvement District by finding qualified tenants for vacant retail and commercial spaces along Loockerman Street and adjacent streets. The initiative will facilitate the redevelopment of downtown commercial properties and promote a vibrant commercial district by filling previously vacant spaces with retail, restaurants, professional services firms, and nonprofits organizations that will attract customers from the Dover area and beyond.

The Unlock the Block initiative invites property owners to learn about:
  • How the initiative will help owners of vacant commercial properties along Loockerman Street and adjacent streets secure a qualified tenant with a long-term lease
  • Possible incentives for redevelopment of commercial properties that are available from state, county, city and other sources
  • Local building regulations including licensing and inspections
Small business owners will be invited to participate in a selective process to occupy spaces in downtown Dover.

The program seeks veteran business owners looking to expand or home-based businesses looking for their first brick and mortar location. Available spaces are being marketed April through July. During that time Unlock the Block is recruiting prospective tenants and guiding them through an application process that includes a project information session and business planning session, culminating in a pitch competition in which a panel of experts will vote on who will be offered a lease.

Applications from prospective tenants will be accepted through July 9. The pitch competition will occur in late July/early August and the winners will be announced by Aug. 15. Occupancy could take place as soon as 30 days after selection but may vary depending upon the extent of fit-out each space requires.

Tenants selected for the program will receive a combination of incentives including fee waivers, free business consulting services, technical assistance and cash incentives.

Current Unlock the Block Properties:

1 W Loockerman St
204 W Loockerman St
115 S Bradford St
147 S Governors Ave

15 W Loockerman St
155 S Bradford St

  • 1 West Loockerman Street (a landmark property at corner of State and Loockerman streets; seeking restaurant, retail)
  • 155 South Bradford, second floor above 33 West (multiple office suites at corner of Loockerman and Bradford streets)
  • 204 Loockerman Street (ideal for retail)
  • 147 South Governor's Avenue (ideal for bakery)

To receive updates on Unlock the Block properties, training sessions, announcement of jurors and other emerging project information, complete this brief Expression of Interest - CLICK HERE

Questions? Contact one of the following:

  • Downtown Dover Amenities: Tina Bradbury, Program Manager, Downtown Dover Partnership
  • City of Dover Incentives, Processes, Licensing/Inspections: Dave Hugg, Planner, City of Dover
  • Properties and Business Questions: Rick Ferrell, Retail Market Answers, LLC, Business Development Consultant
  • General Questions about Unlock the Block: Diane Laird, State Coordinator, Downtown Delaware

Partners and sponsors of Unlock the Block:



  Partnership Sponsors   Contact Information  
  A strong community ensures that information and knowledge are widely shared, addresses needs and issues and provides opportunity and direction for the next generation.
  Email: info@downtowndover.com
Phone: 302-678-2940

101 West Loockerman Street, Suite 1A
Downtown Dover, DE 19904

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