On December 10, 2021, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced new awardees for six state revitalization programs administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
Nearly $63 million was awarded to 214 projects and activities that promote community redevelopment and revitalize local economies. All 23 counties, and Baltimore City, received awards through one or more of the six programs.
“Each community has its own unique and important revitalization goals, and our programs are designed to be flexible and nimble to help achieve those goals,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “When we truly listen and respond to local stakeholders and partners, everyone is working together to create impactful, effective, and positive redevelopment.”
The six programs will support revitalization and redevelopment projects and activities including: business expansion and retention; streetscape improvements; homeownership and home rehabilitation incentives; commercial improvement programs; community facilities; mixed-use development, and demolition activities.
“These projects and initiatives support responsible redevelopment that is driven by local partnerships,” said Governor Hogan. “Our state revitalization programs spur economic growth in Maryland’s diverse and vibrant communities, attracting additional public, private, and nonprofit investment while improving quality of life for residents.”
Strategic Demolition Fund.
The Strategic Demolition Fund, a statewide program aimed at catalyzing activities that accelerate economic development and job production in existing Maryland communities, awarded more than $9 million to 27 projects, including:
- Demolition of Dorchester County Hospital, Governor’s Hall and ancillary properties to clear a site for mixed-use waterfront redevelopment in Cambridge;
- Acquisition, relocation, and restoration of a historic African American Church to create the Mountain Lake Park Bethel Education Center to highlight the historical contributions made by African Americans in Garrett County; and
- Ongoing rehabilitation of vacant properties in Indian Head (Charles County) to create the Maryland Technology Center in partnership with the College of Southern Maryland and the U.S. Naval Surface War Center.
Governor Hogan’s signature Project C.O.R.E., or Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise is an initiative to eliminate blight in Baltimore City and make way for green space, affordable and mixed use housing, and new opportunities for businesses. As of August 2021, the initiative has removed or stabilized more than 5,000 vacant units in Baltimore. Project C.O.R.E. awarded nearly $18.4 million to 15 projects, including:
- Creation of a plaza to connect Penn Station with the University of Baltimore;
- Continuation of site preparation activities and demolition related to the Perkins Somerset Oldtown transformation plan; and
- Blight removal managed by the Maryland Stadium Authority.
Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative.
The Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative (BRNI) is designed to support redevelopment in communities within the Baltimore Beltway. More than $12.3 million was awarded to 70 projects, including:
- Ongoing redevelopment of the historic Lexington Market;
- Purchase and renovation of St. Rita’s School to create affordable apartments and a community center in Dundalk’s Town Center; and
- Numerous awards to community organizations for neighborhood clean-up and façade improvement activities.
National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund.
Similar to BRNI, the National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund (NED) provided $7.2 million in funding for 28 projects in communities in and around the Capital Beltway, including:
- Support for architectural and engineering design to create a state-of-the-art recreation facility in Takoma Park as the core of a mixed-use facility incorporating multifamily housing and retail;
- Acquisition and demolition of blighted properties surrounding DeMatha High School to make space for construction of a community service facility; and
- Redevelopment and conversion of a vacant coin-operated laundry facility into a high quality restaurant and retail site in Suitland.
More than $5.5 million was awarded by Community Legacy to 56 projects in designated Sustainable Communities throughout Maryland. Some of these projects include:
- Revitalization of a park in the Clay Street Community of Annapolis to provide recreation and water access to underserved neighborhood residents;
- Renovation and construction of affordable homes in historic downtown Frederick to be sold to qualified buyers through Habitat for Humanity; and
- Construction of an academic center to house afterschool and summer programs focused for youth in Easton (Talbot County), as well as employment services for their parents and young adults.
Seed Community Development Anchor Institution Fund.
Another $10 million in grants and loans were provided to higher education institutions and hospitals by the Seed Community Development Anchor Institution Fund (SEED) for community development projects in disinvested areas of the state. The funds supported 18 projects, including:
- Construction of a facility to provide mental and emotional health services in partnership with Coppin State University;
- Creation of a full-service grocery store by Horizon Goodwill Industries to provide fresh food and household staples to the historic Jonathan Street neighborhood in Hagerstown (Washington County), an area currently defined as a food desert; and
- Completion of the second and final phase of the revitalization of the Allegany College of Maryland’s theater.
Rendering of revitalized Suitland Town Center courtesy of Office of Gov. Hogan.