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October 7, 2022
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Community Grant Programs

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's Revitalization Grants

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) revitalization grant programs, specifically the Community Legacy and Project C.O.R.E. programs, continue to help fund large-scale development projects in Downtown Baltimore.

Contractoprs working on roof of building during a redevelopment project.

What kind of projects can funds be used for?

Both Community Legacy and Project C.O.R.E. are flexible programs that can be used for a variety of community development purposes.

According to DHCD’s eligibility description, Community Legacy projects/activities typically include:

  • Mixed-use development consisting of residential, commercial and/or open space
  • Business retention, expansion and attraction initiatives
  • Streetscape improvements
  • Increasing homeownership and home rehabilitation among residents
  • Residential and commercial façade improvement programs
  • Real estate acquisition, including land banking, and strategic demolition

Project C.O.R.E. similarly seeks to redevelop communities; however, there is a focus on redeveloping entire dilapidated buildings. Funding for this program typically goes to demolishing or gutting blighted properties.

Why is this grant opportunity a priority for DPOB?

DHCD’s revitalization programs – and in particular Community Legacy (CL) and Project C.O.R.E. – are two of our best tools for addressing blight in Downtown Baltimore. To rehabilitate dilapidated buildings Downtown, developers frequently require some public financing beyond what traditional lenders provide. DHCD’s programs provide some of the best chances to acquire this public funding because:

  1. DPOB maintains a strong relationship with DHCD, which has been a reliable funder of our Façade Improvement Program and other capital improvement projects over the past two decades.
  2. DHCD funding is flexible, useable for different expense categories (e.g. acquisition, planning, development, etc.)
  3. Application rounds are available at least once per year (though applications are not always released at the same time)
  4. Possible funding amounts are substantial – previously up to $500,000, and in this round up to $1,000,000 per project.

What is DPOB’s role in these projects?

By law, for-profit companies must partner with community-based nonprofit organizations to apply for State Revitalization Program funding. For each project, DPOB develops the application (with partner support), receives state funds if the application is successful, and administers funding to the private developer in accordance with the grant agreement. For this role, partners agree to pay DPOB a 10% administration fee if the grant is funded.

 What is the current timeline?

  •  Round Announced and Program Guidelines Available: Monday, May 10, 2021
  • Online Application Open: Monday, May 17, 2021
  • Application Deadline: Thursday, June 24, 2021, at 3 p.m.

Why should DPOB be private developers’ partner on these applications and not other local economic development organizations?

 Among leading economic development agencies Downtown and in Baltimore overall, DPOB is best positioned to be developers’ nonprofit partners on these applications. Baltimore Development Corporation leaders have decided they will not partner with any company for this program; that leaves just DPOB and the Market Center Community Development Corporation (MCCDC) as remaining economic development nonprofits with a Downtown focus. Since MCCDC has a small geographic focus and limited staff time, DPOB is left as many applicants’ best local resource.

How many staff hours will each application require?

Each application will require approximately 10 hours of Economic Development staff time.

Looking Ahead

Explore Applications for FY23

Below is a list of projects DPOB Economic Development staff is working on submitting for state revitalization funds. PLEASE NOTE: Because this application round was just announced, conversations with project partners and DHCD staff are ongoing, and project details are subject to change.

FY23 Project CORE Applications

The Mayfair

Zahlco is underway redeveloping the former site of the Mayfair Theater into a mixed-used project with 92 apartment units, a 40-space garage, and 5,000SF of new retail space. The façade of the historic theater will be preserved and restored, while the remainder will be new construction. Zahlco anticipates breaking ground this year.

Request Amount: $1,500,000

FY23 Project CORE Applications

219-225 E Baltimore St.

DPOB has been in conversations with Tenant Commercial Group about these blighted properties for nearly a year, providing market and funding information to incentivize a sale. Through this partnership, Tenant Commercial Group motivated a buyer, Horizonprises, LLC, to purchase the properties and begin planning their redevelopment into a mixed-use space with 4 ground-floor retail spaces. The buyer is now applying for CORE to support this project, which they plan to break ground on later this year.

Request Amount: $1,500,000

FY23 Project CORE Applications

100 W Lexington Lofts

For well over a year, DPOB has been working with Tim Klempa of JKL Apartments LLC to support this $5.7M project at the corner of Lexington and Liberty, which will redevelop two historic buildings into 36 apartment units. As part of this project, DPOB supported Tim’s request to CHAP to build a street-level parking garage entrance; however, this request was denied and CHAP now requires the project to include 3 ground-floor retail spaces. As a result, Tim requires state funds to support these unexpected costs and deliver built-out retail spaces.

Request Amount: $750,000

FY23 Project CORE Applications

Compass

Westside Partners is requesting funds to support the first phase of their $100M+ redevelopment in the former Superblock parcel. DPOB is still working with them to identify specific uses of the funds.

Request Amount: $1,500,000

FY23 Project CORE Applications

Dwell on Park

Vitruvius’ $25M redevelopment of 400 Park Ave and surrounding vacant properties has had significant delays over the past 4 years; however, many indications point to it finally breaking ground this year. The project will construct a 94-unit multifamily building with 2 retail/restaurant spaces on the 1st floor and an additional 5 adjacent townhouses that will be restored into 5 single-family rental units.

Request Amount: $1,500,000

FY23 Project CORE Applications

600 N Howard

Blank Slate is expected to break ground this year on a $4M project to redevelop this blighted building into 19 apartment units and a ground-floor gym. The developer will raise the height of the building by two floors to accomplish this. Due to the serious blight in the buildings, the developer requires funds to deliver the project.

Request Amount: $785,000

The Latest

Successful Revitalization Projects

Below is a list of projects Downtown Partnership has successfully received revitalization funds to support in recent years.

Downtown BOOST Program

FUNDED – FY22 Community Legacy

DPOB applied for $100,000 to support capital costs for the Downtown BOOST Program in Rounds 2 and 3.

Guardian House

FUNDED – FY22 Project CORE

In partnership with Landmark Partners, DPOB applied for $500,000 in FY21 to support the redevelopment of 17-23 S Gay Street into a mixed-use project with 2 retail spaces and 66 affordable apartments that are reserved for Baltimore’s first responders. The application was rejected in FY21, but supported in FY22 upon resubmission with a new request for $1M in support of the project.

Facade Improvement Program

FUNDED – FY21 & FY18 Community Legacy

DPOB applied for $100,000 to continue the successful Facade Improvement Program, which ran out of funds from our FY18 Community Legacy award.

Current Space

FUNDED – FY17 Project C.O.R.E.

Downtown Partnership successfully applied for $500,000 in Project C.O.R.E. funding to support the renovation and expansion of Current Space gallery in the Bromo Arts District.

Le Mondo

FUNDED – FY17 Project C.O.R.E.

 

Downtown Partnership successfully applied for $300,000 in Project C.O.R.E. funding to support the development of Le Mondo, a performing arts and gallery space in the Bromo Arts District.