Milton Hopes Entrepreneurs "Pop-Up" Shops Downtown - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Milton Hopes Entrepreneurs "Pop-Up" Shops Downtown

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MILTON, Del. - A renaissance is in the making in Milton.

First, several small businesses moved in. Then, the iconic Milton Theater re-opened.

The revival is the talk of the town, but leaders are hoping for more "pop-ups" with a statewide program.

All in a day's work for 302 Fitness owner John Lehne, who cleans up his studio for his next client.
"I've actually got a really busy month," says Lehne.

The fitness trainer opened up shop last October to a rapidly changing downtown Milton. According to Milton Chamber of Commerce executive director Lisa Sumstine, a number of businesses remained vacant only "a couple of months ago."

Fast forward to today and Sumstine says only four storefronts remain tenantless.

Two of those shops are next door to 302 Fitness.  The hope is to bring new owners in, open them up through "Project Pop-Up". It's an idea from the First State to put life back into Delawarean downtowns, giving owners three free months of rent to start-up their new idea.

Last year, Milton opened their doors to two tenants because of the program, including 302 Fitness.  

This year, the town wants to fill up the other four businesses.  

"In a way, it creates kind of a community spirit," said Sumstine. "Everybody comes together and we want to support these new businesses."

"We've just seen a desire to really see the downtown grow," said Fred Munzert of the Milton Theater.

There are 11 properties in six Delaware towns up for consideration in this year's Project Pop Up. The Delaware Economic Development Office is accepting applications until next Wednesday, August 6th.

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