By Mike McClure

This is an exciting time for the town of Millsboro and Town Manager Sheldon Hudson. TidalHealth has expressed an interest in building a large ambulatory campus on the north side of town, meanwhile a new Grotto’s is opening in Millsboro in April, Texas Roadhouse is slated to open in May, and a new hotel is expected to open this spring or summer.

“We’re seeing growth on both sides of 113,” said Hudson. “It’s important that the town has its eggs in multiple baskets.”

NEW DOG PARK- Among the amenities the town of Millsboro offers is a new dog park, located on Wilson Highway, near town hall.

The TidalHealth project may include a campus with labs, imaging facilities, and doctors offices on part of a 40 acre tract of land. This campus will provide hundreds of professional, non-retail jobs in town.

The facility will join the M &T Operations Center and two Merck facilities, which accounts for roughly a thousand jobs in town. Also, the Lewes Dairy moved to Millsboro a few years ago and Allen Harim and Mountaire have corporate offices just outside of town.

Among the most active residential developments are Plantation Lakes, Alderleaf Meadows, and West town Village. Plantation Lakes, which is building off of Route 20 (north of Betts Pond) has 1,100 units built with an additional 1,400 units approved for construction. Alderleaf Meadows, located behind Food Lion, will feature 150 single family homes.

The town has issued the most residential building permits in Kent and Sussex counties, second only to Middletown in the state. Hudson believes the town’s affordability and accessibility make it desirable for potential residents. It is located halfway between Lewes/Rehoboth and Salisbury and halfway between Milford and Ocean City. With as many as 50 building permits being issued each month, Millsboro’s population is over 7,000.

The first phase of Millsboro’s town funded downtown revitalization and street lighting project is halfway completed. The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) will also be repaving the downtown and State Street areas.

“Between now and next year it’s going to look like a totally new downtown,” Hudson said.

DelDOT is also doing work on the intersection of Routes 113 and 24 to help address traffic issues. The town is building a new water tower off of Route 20 as well as a new water plant with the possibility of a new sewer plant. This work will help the town keep up with the growth in town. Millsboro is also partnering with Delmarva Power and DelDOT to install new street lights on Route 24.

The town boasts a new dog park on Wilson Highway, near town hall. One of the few dog parks in the area, it has two areas, one for small dogs and one for large dogs.

“People love it, it’s very highly utilized,” said Hudson.

Residents have expressed an interest in having more sit down restaurants. The search is on to fill the property where the former Georgia House was located. He said there is also a desire for more grocery store options as well as indoor/outdoor family entertainment, and department stores.

Millsboro was recently recognized by PC Magazine as a top 50 city in the United States and Canada for working from home. Hudson said that with retiree growth already happening organically, the town is looking to attract even more families and working professionals to enhance its demographic diversity.

As a year round town, Millsboro is not necessarily a tourist destination. “We want to be a year round, well rounded type of city where you can live, work and play,” Hudson said.

Hudson believes the sky is the limit for his town, which he believes could be the next hub, like Dover or Salisbury.

Plans for a new town hall have been put on hold for now. Instead, the town is focusing on possibly building a new police station off of Ellis Street, adjacent to its water plant. The town owns this land and it is not fronted by a DelDOT owned road.

In the long term, the town may build a new town hall on its westbound 24 gateway site. Meanwhile, Hudson said it may put a “parkette” at that location.