City Begins Planning Makeover For Downtown Seaford
Seaford has partnered with Downtown Delaware and was one of three communities selected to receive a $28,000 grant for downtown revitalization. According to Economic Development IT Manager Trisha Newcomer, Seaford is matching that grant. She says the city fully believes in this new project and including residents' ideas.
"We just really want to make sure that our entire community embodies what they want our downtown to be," said Newcomer.
The city is working with Community Design Solutions, a design and planning group, on the project. Randy Wilson, president and design director, led Tuesday's public input meeting. He says he looks forward to helping downtown Seaford reach its full potential.
"Downtown Seaford only exists in one place on the planet. There are aspects of Seaford that you can find in Lewes, Milford and Bridgeville, but the downtown corridor area there's no other place like it on the planet," said Wilson.
While many residents share the same love for the downtown area, they still believe there's much to be improved.
"I think there's a lot of community spirit here, but realistically there's not a lot of reason for a lot of people to come downtown," said Christina Darby, Seaford resident.
"It seems like there's not much for people to do that are my age," said Troy Paulsen, Seaford resident. "I'm 18, so I'm on the younger end of the spectrum and I feel as a high school student there isn't too much to do after school other than go home or maybe play sports."
During the meeting, residents were given the opportunity to say what they want to see improved. Some ideas that came up were add more restaurants, extend the riverwalk, unify downtown architecture, have more entertainment and start a farmers market.
Many left the meeting feeling hopeful about Seaford's future.
"To see a citizenry that's very passionate about their place and engaged and want to have input to the process, that's all a planet can hope for," said Wilson.
"I think it is such a great, great opportunity for Seaford to start moving forward," said Darby.
"I'm hoping that with the new development it brings a lot more different people, different ethnic backgrounds, and gives people the opportunity to see Delaware a lot more than what they do see it now. I'm pretty excited and I'm happy for it," said Rosalene Joseph, Seaford resident.
Based off Tuesday's meeting, a public presentation of what downtown Seaford may look like will be given as early as Thursday. The presentation will again be held at City Hall at 5:30 p.m. All are invited to attend and provide feedback.