From Delaware State News
DOVER — In 2017, extensive legislative groundwork was laid to significantly grow the almost 40-year-old Dover Mall.
The owners, Simon Property Group along with Western Development Corp., showcased blueprints that would add about 54,700 square feet for new stores to the current mall and build a “power center” to the east with 22 buildings covering more than 550,000 square feet.
The hitch that would make the expansion possible was a proposed Del. 1 toll road entrance on the east side of the mall that would cost an estimated $31 million to build.
A new road would allow for direct access to the expanded mall complex from the state’s arterial highway.
In the developers’ vision, the Dover Mall would start to resemble the Christiana Mall, which boasts 175 stores plus several outlying retail centers.
John Paradee, a Dover lawyer representing the firms, helped steer seven different pieces of legislation supporting the project in 2017.
“The Dover Mall is in jeopardy as it currently exists,” he said at the time.
Mr. Paradee claimed the construction of the access road would greatly enhance the mall’s profile, which would ultimately bring more companies and shoppers.
“We’re already talking to people who have told us, ‘if you build it, we will come,’” he said at the time.