New committees to give back though Share-A-Lot effort


As a recovering economy and the real estate market slowly rebound toward a more comfortable state for local businesses and communities, developer Michael Daniels is looking to seize opportunity with one of his newest Sussex County ventures. The Cove at Sandy Landing, the furthest-along of Daniels’ five projects across lower Delaware, aims at bringing in 24 new one-acre units to Dagsboro and will simultaneously debut Share-A-Lot – a charitable effort formed to benefit the less fortunate in Sussex.

“Share-A-Lot is just getting off the ground,” said Daniels, founder and president of the 501(c)3 foundation, “but we’re trying to tie in with developers as these lots become available.”

As finished lots are sold and settled within new communities, developers will make a contribution to the Share-A-Lot fund – 100 percent of which will eventually be distributed throughout area for scholarships, food programs, elder care, the homeless, environmental causes or any other recipient or group chosen by the foundation’s board.

Participating developers who have sites with 21 to 50 lots will offer a contribution of $10,000 at sale of the final lot in the community, while sites with 51 to 100 lots will contribute $25,000 at the sale of the last lot. Sites with 20 lots or less are not expected to participate in the charitable effort. Existing projects will begin the lot calculation on their date of acceptance into the Share-A-Lot program.

“This fund will accumulate a substantial amount of money over time,” noted Daniels. “There are no extra fees and no other charges that these donations go toward. They’re all filtered back into the community, 100 percent.”

While developers are the key participants in the Share-A-Lot program, Daniels said he is hoping to add others as the foundation grows.

“We’d like to get some of the local utility companies on board, as well,” he mentioned, “like Artesian and Tidewater. Eventually, members of the Share-A-Lot board can meet with county councils and planning boards to get involved, too.”

Participating developers will have the opportunity make a contributing difference in the lives of thousands of Sussex Countians, and continuing public attention from the program will recognize them and their donations.

“If done right,” said Daniels, “there’s a lot of potential. It will become a way for developers to sell a product and contribute something to the community.”

And Daniels knows a thing or two about giving back. The founder of Share-A-Lot has also served as the vice president of the board of Meals on Wheels for a community in Germantown, Md., and has operated as a delivery volunteer for Meals on Wheels for four years. He has served as president of the board of the Bay Forest Home Association in Dagsboro and the Parents Club Association at Georgetown Preparatory School in Bethesda, Md., and has been an acting member of the Delaware Home Builders Association. The Ohio native relocated to Washington, D.C., and has been vacationing at the beaches of Sussex County with his family for more than 30 years.

With his hands in real estate for decades, Daniels is hopeful that recent trends that appear to be climbing in a positive direction for the market.

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” he noted, “just from seeing the recent activity out there. We’re on a positive upturn, and the slower and steadier it grows, the better it will be for the economy. Many new lots are being remarketed, and there is still a lot of inventory to burn through. But if we get through that inventory, it can help bring developers back to even again.”

The Cove at Sandy Landing, a waterfront community located off of Vine’s Creek Road in Dagsboro, will be Daniels’ first undertaking to incorporate his Share-A-Lot program. Overlooking the backwaters of the Indian River Bay, The Cove at Sandy Landing boasts a 3-acre, centrally located park, a community gazebo along the water’s edge, and miles of nature trails for hiking and biking. With each purchase, home owners will receive full membership to Cripple Creek Golf and Country Club.

New land owners at The Cove have already exercised several options with the soon-to-be developed properties. Lot-home packages are available, from Carolina-style homes to Nantucket and Bethany designs. Although the site is just nearing completion, it is making plenty of headway, with its major road already being paved. The first homes are slated to go in starting next week, with the majority of the 24 lots still available.

This Saturday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., The Cove will host a fall get-together, inviting local Realtors and community members throughout the area for a meet-and-greet with Daniels, and the opportunity to tour the site. Realtors are being encouraged to trade business cards for a chance at prizes and gift cards. Three gift baskets will also be awarded to those in attendance, and treats for kids and free pumpkins and mums will also be available.

“It’s going to be a great event to bring people out,” said Amber Johnson, media representative for The Cove at Sandy Landing. “It’s great exposure for the location, and we’re really trying to get a lot of the local real estate agents involved. The event is very community-oriented, too. We want to work closely with members and businesses in the surrounding area, and this is a great way to get to know them.”

For more information about the Share-A-Lot foundation and its involvement in Sussex County, including how to get on board and additional information for developers, contractors and real estate agents, visit http://sharealotcares.com.

For information on The Cove at Sandy Landing, visit http://thecovede.com or stop by this Saturday, Oct. 30, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to see the site and meet Michael Daniels. From the Bethany Beach “totem pole,” follow Route 26 west 6.2 miles and turn right on Sandy Landing Road. Follow the road one mile to the site.

Daniels can be reached at msd921@aol.com. Amber Johnson can be reached by calling (302) 519-6864.