[caption id="attachment_220874" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Two properties on Loockerman Street in Downtown Dover sold earlier this year, amid city leaders questions of what the next chapter for the district includes. | DBT PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING[/caption]
DOVER — As Dover city leaders weigh how to reshape the downtown’s future, two notable properties have been sold for a combined $2.68 million in the last few months.The former home ofBel-Boutique clothing store at 28 W. Loockerman St. sold for $285,000 in January to Conekt LLC, a limited liability company linked to CCF Research & Consulting in Dover. Then at the end of 2022, the former Citizens Bank building at 6 W. Loockerman St. sold for $2.4 million to NSTU Inc., an entity that is linked to Hockessin entrepreneur Tasadaq Uppal.Bel-Boutique was one of two stores owned by Erin Thwaites. In November 2020, she combined her women’s fashion store The Loocke at 123 W. Loockerman St. and the gift store into one venue.But amid the pandemic, Bel-Boutique closed and pivoted to online sales only. The building currently has no tenants at this time, according to Tina Bradbury, economics development and operations manager of Downtown Dover Partnership.The building at 28 W. Loockerman is a three-story building with 3,800 square feet in floorspace. Meanwhile, Citizens Bank used to have an office at 6 W. Loockerman St. until it moved out to U.S. Route 13 at the end of 2022. However, the Public Defender’s Office moved into the building for additional space in 2020. Ten staff members, including staff from the Court of Common Pleas and Family Court, now work out of the office.The two buildings are on a major road of downtown Dover, and city and business leaders are currently mulling a plan to revitalize the area. Included in that $500 million vision is a rough plan for 15 acres of developable land throughout the city, which may include 97,700 square feet of commercial space, a 27,500-square-foot grocery store, a riverwalk that augments the 21 acres of open space, and more.Also key to that plan is activating vacant properties with mixed-used concepts, with second-floor apartments to compliment retail and restaurants on the first floor.