Delaware Prosperity Partnership: Successes in 2020 and 2021

Delaware Prosperity Partnership: Successes in 2020 and 2021 Main Photo

2 Apr 2021


Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) — the nonprofit state agency that leads Delaware’s economic development efforts to attract, grow, and retain businesses — has created successes this past year despite all of the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Created in 2017, their public-private model of economic development has taken root and proves that Delaware excels at collaborations and productive partnerships.

“We are pleased and proud to see what Delaware Prosperity Partnership was able to accomplish despite the challenging times that the State and the County are facing due to the pandemic. Helping to facilitate thousands of new job opportunities and retaining 1,100 more is a tribute to DPP’s ability to be 100 percent focused on economic development, innovation, and recruiting top talent in Delaware. I am confident that through community and business partnerships, like the one we have with DPP, we will continue to bolster the Delaware economy,” Rodger Levenson, chair, president, and CEO of WSFS Financial Corporation and WSFS Bank, was quoted in DPP’s “2020 Year in Review.”

One of DPP’s core functions is to assist companies to locate to or expand within Delaware. DPP supported 10 projects in 2020 that represented more than 1,600 new and retained jobs and almost $429 million in capital investment in Delaware. In addition, there were 58 projects in progress in the end-of-the-year pipeline representing a potential capital investment of $2.44 billion and 7,186 new and retained jobs.

Since its formation, DPP has successfully supported 30 projects in Delaware and has hit the ground running in 2021. The Council on Development Finance (CDF) has approved funding for three projects presented by DPP and its respective partners – two companies expanding in Wilmington and a company expanding in Bear. Expanding its operations in Wilmington is Eastern Highway Specialists (EHS), and expanding to Wilmington from New Jersey is Advantage Building Supply Corp.

Delaware Prosperity Partnership, WilmingtonEHS outgrew its current location on Church Street in Wilmington and has purchased a 4-acre brownfield site at 3604 Downing Drive in Northeast Wilmington. They will invest nearly $4 million into the property with plans to build a 21,000-square-foot shop and office for its new headquarters and operations. As part of the project, EHS will create up to 17 new positions, bringing its employee count to 66 over the next three years. The property also has room for future expansion. Existing employers and landowners along Downing Drive will benefit from repaving and upgrades of the public infrastructure included in the project. 

For the project, the CDF reviewed and approved a Performance Grant of up to $181,000 and a Capital Expenditure Grant of up to $60,000 for a total of up to $241,000. The City of Wilmington Office of Economic Development was instrumental in helping the company navigate infrastructure and development issues to get the site ready for the expansion.

Meanwhile, Advantage Building Supply Corp., a construction materials supplier, and Zulu Fire Doors LLC are expanding their operations to Delaware from New Jersey because of the Wilmington site’s location near Interstate 495, potential rail service, and access to labor. 

The privately owned company will operate manufacturing and supply distribution entities at its recently acquired location at 1400 E. 12th Street in the City of Wilmington. With plans to be operational in mid-2021, Advantage Building Supply and its associated entities are planning to invest over $8 million, including acquisition costs and upgrades to the existing buildings. They plan to employ 118 people over the next three years at this Wilmington location. 

For the project, the CDF reviewed and approved the company’s request for a Performance Grant of up to $200,920 and a Capital Expenditure Grant of up to $138,000 for a total of up to $338,920. The City of Wilmington Office of Economic Development was involved with helping the company navigate local regulations and requirements. 

“The City of Wilmington is grateful to Eastern Highway Specialists, a long-time City-based business operated by a proud City family, for its expansion plans, and we welcome Advantage Building Supply to our City from its home base in New Jersey,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “Both of these projects will provide additional blue-collar employment opportunities, for which we are most appreciative, and signify continued investment in our City, which is critical as we gear up for the post-pandemic period to get all of our businesses thriving at full throttle again. This is welcome news, and we thank DPP for once again helping to enhance our City and provide needed job options for our residents.”

Explore DPP’s website to see how they strive to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem, and how they support private employers in identifying, recruiting and developing talent in Delaware. Their services include working with prospects to review potential sites, cost-of-living details, and funding opportunities including available tax credits and incentives.

City of Wilmington Office of Economic Development (OED)

The OED is committed to ensuring a diversified local economy for the City by promoting and developing all varieties of industry and by initiating programs to increase job opportunities for residents of the City of Wilmington. Contact them at (302) 576-2120 or Follow them on Facebook and LinkedIn.