The City of Dover is considering a public-private partnership with a local company that has outgrown its space at the Washington Mills, the city announced Monday.

The company in question is Dover popcorn company Popzup, which is in need of a new space. Now, the city is announcing its plans to possibly build a $1.7 million production facility that Popzup would subsequently lease-to-own from the city.

The facility would be located at Enterprise Park, the city said, adding that Popzup "would pay debt service costs and have the option to purchase the building for the remaining cost of the loan during a specified period of the agreement," Dover City Manager Michael Joyal explained.

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Joyal also said at a workshop Wednesday that if Popzup chose not to buy the building it could continue to lease and pay debt service costs. Alternatively, if they wanted to purchase the building at a later date, the sale price would then be based on the property’s assessed value, per Joyal. Popzup would also pay the assessed property tax for the parcel.

The partnership has already been approved by the City of Dover Business and Industrial Development Authority (DBIDA), which owns the land and pushed the request forward to the City Council for approval.

Economic Development Director Daniel Barufaldi said Dover has used this program in the past with success to aid companies to expand in Dover or relocate to the city.

Barufaldi added that it appeared likely that Popzup would likely relocate out of Dover in the event of the deal not being approved because there is no building available to suit their needs.

City Council will consider the proposal at a meeting on Wednesday.

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