The Downtown Dover Partnership is intent on attracting businesses and consumers to the city’s core.
Wilmington University’s College of Business is bolstering that effort on multiple fronts, providing expertise as well as placing WilmU interns in downtown businesses and organizations.
“The goal is to make Dover more of a college town, like Newark with University of Delaware or West Chester and Allentown in Pennsylvania,” says Assistant Dean Dr. Clint Robertson.
Dr. Robertson, who serves on the downtown partnership, says a study identified potential enticements to the city, including sporting goods retailers and restaurants, especially brew pubs and bistros that offer outdoor dining. Downtown events also rate highly with visitors, and a WilmU intern with experience in event planning is working on creating Dover’s First Fridays, a monthly event when stores and restaurants will stay open late and encourage pedestrians to tour the business district.
Recently, Dr. Robertson and more than 20 other partnership members took a walking tour of downtown — while a drone took photographs overhead.
“It was a very good way to get a feel for the area and come up with thoughts as to what we would like to see at various locations,” he says.
WilmU is working with the owner of District 4, a restaurant in the planning stages, to offer advice on developing its location on Loockerman Street, the city’s major thoroughfare.
“We want to encourage people at the Wilmington University campus here to go downtown to eat,” Dr. Robertson says. “When the restaurant opens, we will put up a banner that says ‘Wilmington University welcomes District 4.’”