Denton, Maryland is a community of about 3,000 located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. As the seat of Caroline County, Denton has a rich history. The community was settled in 1781 along the banks of the Choptank River and was a major trading center for the surrounding agricultural region. The community remained a center of commerce for much of the rural surroundings for many years. Like many communities however, downtown Denton has seen ups and downs as the major retail trade has moved to the by-pass and other retail destinations grew up nearby.
However, Denton has not been content to let downtown languish. The community and its partners are pursuing aggressive plans to revitalize downtown through an arts initiative, riverfront redevelopment, a cooking school, and other major projects. In addition, the Denton Main Street program was formed as a companion organization designed to work with downtown property owners, merchants, and the community at large to foster investment in downtown and promote the district. To that end, Denton pursued grant funding to pay for an updated market study for downtown as well as a branding and marketing strategy for the community. One of the plans that has come to fruition is a cooking school, Chesapeake Culinary Center. The Caroline Schoolhouse's Chesapeake Culinary Center is a grassroots, non-profit organization committed to the betterment of our community through job training and economic development in the culinary arts. The organization was established in 2004 to provide culinary training to youth and adults through practicum learning experiences. The Chesapeake Center offers Culinary art classes, full-service catering, summer youth programs, after school programs and job training.
Arnett Muldrow & Associates, Ltd. was hired to conduct the study of Denton looking at opportunities for downtown; and develop a marketing strategy for promoting Denton as a place to shop, visit, and invest. The study began with a series of stakeholder interviews and roundtable work sessions along with a zip code survey of customers held in June and July 2009. The zip code research led to a market definition study and a sales and retail leakage analysis for the community. Altogether this information was used to craft a series of recommendations to grow Denton amidst challenging economic times.
The Downtown Denton Main Street Manager, Audrey Clemens, is a part-time advocate for downtown Denton, and is the specialist on information, resources and programs related to the revitalization effort. Audrey and her team are available to assist with the navigation of the small business loan program, which is administered by the Town of Denton. Downtown Denton Main Street Board of Directors along with Audrey are also available to assist individual tenants or property owners with physical improvement projects through personal consultation and to provide advice and guidance on necessary financial mechanisms for physical improvements. If you are in need of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. We are available in person at 323 Market Street in Denton, over the phone by calling 410-924-2328, and/or [email protected]
These services are being organized and will be posted soon.
The Downtown Denton Mainstreet Board:
Audrey Clemens, Manager
DDMS BOARD Members:
Patti Wood, President
Leslie Grove, Vice President
Chris Plummer, Treasurer
Kim Crispino, Secretary
Bill Clemens, Board Member
Jennifer Hodges, Board Member
Kathleen Mills, Board Member
DDMS strives to provide local business owners with all of the resources they may need on their road to success. Here are some additional links that may prove to be of service.
The Denton Housing and Community Development can assist you in determining zoning and signage requirements for your business. For more information visit the Town of Denton’s website here, or call 410-479-3625.
Denton’s Main Street is located in it’s Central Business District and its Historic District. Contact 410-479-3625 or click here to obtain information on the Historic Review Process.
The Downtown Denton Main Street Manager is available to assist with the navigation of the small business loan program, which is administered by the Town of Denton.
Click here to download a PDF version of the Town’s sign guidelines for downtown businesses.
Place your business cards or rack cards at the Wharves of Choptank Visitor & Heritage Center. If you are having a special event, email your flyer to Audrey and she will be sure it gets posted at the Visitor Center.
Comprehensive Plan for Denton
Pattern Books are modeled after those used by builders in the past to establish the basic form of buildings and to provide key architectural elements and details. The Pattern Book is a means of implementing a master plan, engaging builders, developers, architects, and real estate professionals in a more technical process. Pattern Books enable all participants to understand, embrace, and build from a shared vision. Download The Town of Denton’s Pattern Book here.
Download the Denton Styleguide here. Please request higher resolution images and alternate file extensions by contacting DDMS.