First Street

A block upstream from the waterfall, Riparia went up a few years ago touting luxury apartments beside the Cocheco River. The project’s still looking for the right tenant on the ground floor, a restaurant or function room, most likely. These things take patience.

Riparia rises from what had been a parking lot along the river that bisects the downtown. I suppose it’s supposed to resemble an old mill – I’ve seen several in Maine that could be inspiration – but a vital downtown requires a critical population mass, and this is one more step in the right direction.

For the most part, Dover’s downtown sticks to Central Avenue parallel to the historic textile mill straddling the river. With its waterfront pathways, Riparia gives some pedestrian-friendly dimension to a sidestreet.

There were times when this would have been the ideal location for me to reside in. Just imagine, sitting on the deck on a summer evening and then stepping out on the town, for some live music or conversation, just a few blocks away. Back when I was single.

As seen from the Central Avenue bridge crossing the Cocheco River.

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