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Corridor of Opportunity: Art, Eats and Affordable Housing Fuel DHCD’s Investment in Route 1
Affordable housing for artists; a contemporary art gallery and a group of net-zero energy townhomes are just some of the DHCD projects that increase local economic vitality and revitalize neighborhoods in Prince George’s County.
Secretary Holt joined DHCD staff and elected officials and representatives from the cities of Hyattsville, Mount Rainier and College Park for a tour of housing and community development projects along the state’s Route 1 corridor.
“With these initiatives, we look forward to attracting more investors to the Route 1 corridor so we can continue to flourish as one of Maryland’s core business communities,” said Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth during the walking tour.
The corridor includes the areas of Mount Rainier, North Brentwood, Brentwood, Hyattsville and College Park. It also features the Gateway Arts District, a unique environment featuring mixed-use housing, art galleries, shopping, entertainment and restaurants for Maryland artists living in the neighboring municipalities. The group visited The Arcade, Renaissance Square Artists’ Apartments, Joe’s Movement Emporium and the Net Zero Demonstration Project. They also walked around upcoming mixed-use development projects in the City of Mount Rainier and College Park.
The Arcade is an ongoing adaptive reuse phased rehabilitation to restore the building as a future anchor of the Gateway Arts District. Estimated to be over 90 years old, the site was originally the home of Pinckney Memorial Church and has been used as a silent movie theater, bowling alley and early shopping mall over the years. Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center will relocate from Silver Spring to the historic Hyattsville building once the renovations are finished. The project received funding from DHCD’s Community Development Block Grant and Community Legacy Programs.
Renaissance Square is the first artist housing in the Hyattsville portion of the Gateway Arts’ District. Renaissance Square offers 44 one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments to low-income artists. The building is full of green features and artist-friendly amenities such as a dance floor, a music practice room and a spacious shared studio space. The project received funding from DHCD’s Rental Housing Loan Program.
Joe’s Movement Emporium is the largest independent performing arts center in Prince George’s County. From the Community Legacy grant to Community Investment Tax Credits Program, Joe’s has received support from several DHCD over the years. Joe’s used DHCD funding to renovate their facility and support fundraising for their Theater Tech training program for at-risk youth.
The City of Mount Rainer will create four innovative townhomes that demonstrates the viability of net-zero energy and low-impact infill development for the region. They will use the Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth funds from the Neighborhood Revitalization Program for pre-development expenses, such as infrastructure improvements, site development and architectural drawings.
The City of College Park will use a loan from the Neighborhood BusinessWorks Program to build a fusion of a café and a live performance space in the former Barking Dog building. They also awarded funds from the Community Legacy grant to independent, locally-owned businesses for exterior and interior improvements to their properties.
Since 2004, DHCD has awarded $9.4 million in funding for Neighborhood Revitalization projects within the U.S Route 1 Corridor.
To learn more about DCHD’s Neighborhood Revitalization Programs, visit www.neighborhoodrevitalization.org.
– By Samantha Lozano