July 29, 2022
Welcome from the Deputy City Manager
Welcome to the first issue of the best darn newsletter the Business Development Office has produced. The inaugural issue of Down to Business. Well, it’s the inaugural issue so far as we are on our own and not piggybacking on the Dover Planning Review. This issue could be a rebirth, I suppose. Instead, I see it more as a continuation of the work we have created in the past period. It’s an evolution in our outreach.

In this way, it’s kind of like the Community Trail. If you haven’t walked the trail lately, I encourage you to do so. The city has invested a lot of time, effort, and resources into expanding the trail and creating what really is a gem for the community. Typically, during the day, whether it is at lunch or after work, I like to go on a walk. Last week I was inspired to use the trail for my walk. I would walk from City Hall to the trail entrance between Locust Street and Rutland Street on Central Avenue. From there, I would walk to the Transportation Center and then circle back through either Third Street to Central Avenue or Chestnut Street. Either route brought me back to City Hall. While on the trail, I would pass other users, some people on skateboards or bikes, and numerous people with dogs and/or strollers. It is really enjoyable to experience the variety moving through the urban portion. For me, this is especially true as I am used to the more rural portion of the trail. Typically, I walk from Fourth Street to Whittier Street or all the way through to Watson Road.

No matter what section you visit, it is a good way to spend a summer, fall, winter, or spring day.

Question of the week:

Whatever happened to the Solar System project on the Community Trail?

What timing to talk about the trail. I had an update from Donna Benton earlier this week that the elements of the Voyage Solar System Exhibit have been shipped to the City, and we hope to have them installed late this summer or early this fall. As a recap, this is a mockup of the solar system, which will start at Fisher Street and run towards Central Avenue along that portion of the Trail.
Christopher G. Parker, AICP
Deputy City Manager: Development and Strategic Initiatives
Dover Download podcast: Your guide
to what's happening this week

In addition to each week's email edition of Dover Download, the City of Dover offers a weekly podcast. The podcast is hosted by Deputy City Manager Christopher Parker, who chats each week about the city's programs, services, public bodies and projects. Each episode also takes a brief detour to the past with a look back at the week in Dover's history.

The podcast is available wherever you get your podcasts, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and at https://anchor.fm/cityofdovernh.
Department and Project Updates
Westfield/Terra Nova Land Development Agreement (LDA) 

On Jan. 27, 2022, the Dover Business and Industrial Development Authority (DBIDA) endorsed a public-private partnership between the City of Dover and Westfield/Terra Nova. The City Council authorized the City Manager to begin negotiations in February. Since that time, staff has been working with the development team to lay out a mixed-use project over the two parcels. The agreement is close to completion, laying out the industrial/manufacturing uses and the residential/non-residential uses on the two parcels. When the concept is completed, it will be presented to the DBIDA before the site plan goes to the Planning Board. The agreement will also come to the City Council for final approval.

Business Development Manager

The City Council adopted the FY2023 budget in May, and contained within that budget is the proposed Business Development Manager. The position will work with our Business Development Specialist to focus on relationships between the city and our local business community. I have been working with other staff and have created a position description so that, when the funding becomes available, we can move forward with hiring.

Business Visitation Program

Business Development Specialist Reid Amy has developed a process for reinvigorating a business visitation program. Reid will be working with an intern over the next couple of months to import data and contact information collected by the Secretary of State's Office to create a full accounting of all businesses located in Dover. Dover Business and Industrial Development Authority (DBIDA) board members will then be able to use that data to contact each business and see what needs they may have. The goal is to make engagement with the city's business community more meaningful. Stay tuned, as this will be a topic for a future newsletter.

In May, the New Hampshire Executive Council approved Governor Sununu’s plan for incentivizing affordable housing in the state through the use of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. There are four areas of the program:

  • Capital Grant: ($60M) targeting developers who create affordable housing. The money can offset construction costs.
  • Municipal Per Unit Grant ($30M) targeting municipalities that issue permits for approved projects. Funds are for infrastructure.
  • Municipal Zoning Grant ($5M) targeting municipalities that want to add density to zoning regulations. 
  • Municipal Demolition Grant ($5M) targeting municipalities that want to demolish vacant or derelict buildings.

The first phase of this, the allocation for developers, is in the application process. On July 11, the New Hampshire Business and Economic Affairs Department released information specific to the program, and the application process began. Applications will be accepted until Sept. 2, and from there, a selection and review process will begin. This municipal funding will have information released in early August.
Waterfront Development

The Cochecho Waterfront Development Project was approved by the Planning Board on June 14. The public and private site plans were both seeking approval, and they were granted. The public lays out the roadways and park/public spaces. The private plan identifies 20,000 square feet of commercial space and 416 residential units.

Since that approval, the city has gotten word that our third permit, the Wetlands Permit, should be in place after the August meeting of the Governor’s Executive Council. Once this is in hand, we will continue the bid process for constructing the public improvements.

Zoning Amendments

At its July 26 meeting, the Planning Board held the third and final hearing on proposed zoning amendments. The highlights of the amendments are:

  • Two amendments to the Commercial Manufacturing (CM) and Commercial (C) districts enhance screening and hours of operation requirements to limit visual impacts for Vehicle Refueling and Recharging and Auto Service Stations and Self-Storage Facilities.
  • The Board is reviewing resident requests along Rutland Street for alterations to the Gateway District in that area. The concern is density, not the commercial uses.
  • A change to clarify that in the Central Business District, commercial uses can be on the ground floor or 20% of the total square footage. 
  • Require the Innovative Technology, Commercial, and Commercial Manufacturing Districts to have the same solar/green roof requirements found in the Central Business District to promote resilient planning and design.

Weave Filtration

Weave Filtration LLC has been working on its engineering plans for site plan approval and has submitted plans for technical review for a new building on Quality Way in Enterprise Park. This is the start of the Planning Board’s review and approval process. Stay tuned for more information about Weave Filtration and other Enterprise Park businesses in a future newsletter.

Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Districts

The Downtown Dover TIF Advisory Board and the Waterfront TIF Advisory Board both have meetings on Monday, Aug. 1. The meetings, which are held to review the financial reports for the districts, are in place so that the advisory boards can recommend to the City Council if there are any concerns regarding the performance of the districts and raise concerns, if any, which the Council should be aware of.

Business and Industrial Development Authority

As it has in the past, the Authority is taking a summer recess and has no public meetings in August.
What's New?

by Reid Amy, Business Development Specialist
Brunch Anyone?

One of the questions I am often asked is, “Where can I get Sunday brunch?” This question always sends my mind spinning because of the array of options we have in Dover, especially on the weekends. Weekends tend to be when all of the brewpubs and dinner restaurants also join in the brunch fun, and I have yet to be disappointed by any of Dover’s options. I couldn’t possibly list all of the places that serve Sunday brunch, but I will list a few that may surprise you.

Sonny's Tavern at 328 Central Ave. This restaurant nails it every time for a casual brunch and superior ambiance. They have an outdoor setup guaranteed to make your brunch experience a memorable one and are open on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They feature a special brunch cocktail menu and even have options for the kiddos in your family. Reservations are suggested as they fill up quickly.

The Dover Brickhouse is located at 2 Orchard St. Not only do they have great wings, but they also have an outstanding Sunday brunch menu from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can feast on anything from Crème Brulée French Toast to a Chorizo Slider Benny, and wash it down with the most fantastic-sized Bloody Mary you’ve ever seen. It’s also kind of fun to say you’ve eaten a “Brick Brunch.”

Smuttlabs Brewery & Kitchen, located at 47 Washington St., serves up Sunday brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Their innovative creations will delight foodies looking for a walk on the wilder side. Their brunch menu features items like the Glazed Donut, Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwich and Loco Moco, which is a seared rice patty, burger patty, Costa Rican gravy and a fried egg. Not only is Smuttlabs creative with the potions they brew, but they are also just as creative with their incredible Sunday brunch options.

The June Cork Pub, located adjacent to the Dover Transportation Center at 66 Third St., is a typical British pub that serves up some delectable Sunday brunch options. Their popular English Breakfast includes eggs, bangers, sautéed mushrooms, beans, sourdough toast, and parmesan and herb grilled tomato. Don’t forget to add a “rasher” of bacon to round out the meal.

Check out these businesses inside the Washington Mill building 
  • Law Office of Andrew C. Strohsahl, 1 Washington St., Third Floor, Suite 3107. I recently got the chance to welcome Andrew as a new Dover business owner. Although he has lived in Dover for many years, he decided to pursue his passion and venture out on his own. He is licensed in both Maine and New Hampshire in the maritime, transportation, energy, real estate, and government affairs sectors. I learned much about Andrew during our visit, such as that he can captain any size motorized vessel and also enjoys patronizing small businesses downtown with his wife, Jessica, and pup, Betty. We are happy to welcome Andrew to our Dover business roster and look forward to watching him grow his business here.  

  • Terra Cotta Pasta Co., 1 Washington St., Second Floor, Suite 2151. I am sure that many of you have heard of Terra Cotta Pasta Co. They have their products located in many stores throughout the greater Seacoast area. But did you know that they have a café-style location on the second floor of 1 Washington St.? Here you can partake in their delicious soup and sandwiches or pick up some great grab-n-go meals to heat up at home. They have weekly specials (like 25% off all pasta, sauces, ravioli, and lasagna every Saturday) and plenty of comfortable seating if you choose to eat inside the mill. They are open every Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Business event happenings 

  • Empty Pint Brewing Co., 17 Second St., hosts Trivia with Phil every Wednesday at 7 p.m. They open their doors at 5 p.m., so get there early and get your spot!

  • Auspicious Brew, 1 Washington St., Suite 1103, is hosting live music events featuring Tommy Ghost, Citizen Kane, and Confid3 tomorrow, Saturday, July 30. Sneaky Miles and Planet Parlor are on Saturday, Aug. 6, and Liz Ridgely and Kate Possi on Saturday, Aug. 13. All shows are at 8 p.m., and tickets can be purchased at the venue for $10.
  • The Strand, 20 Third St., is hosting Booty & The Beach Bums tomorrow, Saturday, July 30 from 8 to 10 p.m., Family Karaoke & Dance on Sunday, July 31, from 2 to 4 p.m., and Fancy Salsa Friday on Friday, Aug. 5, from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at the venue or online at www.thestranddover.com.  

  • The June Cork Pub, 66 Third St., is hosting movie nights every Tuesday, throughout the summer, from 6 to 8 p.m. 

  • Chapel+Main, 83 Main St., is hosting a Summer Jazz Series every Sunday at 5 p.m. Andy Emanuel will be featured this Sunday, July 31, and Paul Heckel will be performing on Aug. 7. 

Special Announcements

  • Sunrise Point Cafe, 50 Pointe Pl., is celebrating its second anniversary at Point Place. This restaurant has a fantastic outdoor patio area and also recently launched its new breakfast menu for Saturdays and Sundays. Their most recent weekend menu featured comfort foods like Eggs Benedict and Brioche French Toast, but they also carry their classic breakfast sandwiches and pastries. I love eating at restaurants in this area because, after a great meal, you can take a stroll along the water’s edge and even sit down for a while in one of the Adirondack chairs sprinkled along the pathways. It’s incredibly enjoyable. 

  • Duston’s Market & Bakery, 153 Portland Ave. We would be remiss if we didn’t sign off this newsletter with a farewell to Mr. Bob Duston. As some of you may know, Mr. Duston has been running one of Dover’s favorite food spots for over 50 years and recently decided to retire. We welcome the new business owners, Krista & Dennis LaBrasca, and wish Bob all the best in the next chapter of his life. Thank you for bringing us 51 years of wonderful whoopie pies, pastries, cakes, subs, dinners, and memories. Cheers to you, sir! 

Let us know about your business

Do you have a question, story, or upcoming event related to businesses in Dover? Please get in touch with me at [email protected] to see it featured here!
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