Clay Street Revitalization

The City of Annapolis developed the Clay Street Community Legacy Plan, an update of the Clay Street Revitalization Plan, through extensive discussions with the neighborhood residents and organizations working in the community.  The plan focuses on four goals:

  • Improve the housing conditions and increase homeownership
  • Recreate and revitalize the commercial and community core
  • Improve public safety, facilities and infrastructure
  • Strengthen community leadership

After_Facade_24_Pleasant_smThe process began in July 2001 when the City’s Community Development Division developed the Clay Street Community Legacy Plan.  Since then, the City has applied annually for Community Legacy funds from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to accomplish the above goals.  The Community Development Division has been successful every year and so far has received $1,644,975 in Community Legacy funds for the Clay Street neighborhood.  These funds do not include other public and private multimillion dollar investments made in the neighborhood since 2002.

Beginning with the first goal of improving housing conditions, the City improved the exteriors of 43 owner-occupied units and made interior improvements to 10 of the units.  The City worked with its partners, Homes for America and Habitat for Humanity, which renovated 15 properties using other public and private funds.  Most renovated properties were vacant or former rentals.  Besides public investment, the private sector renovated 24 buildings.  Over seventy-five privately owned single-family residences have been improved since the City began its revitalization efforts. 

In addition to improving the housing conditions, the City was successful in increasing the number of owner-occupied homes in the neighborhood.  Again, working with its partners, Homes for America and Habitat for Humanity, added 33 owner-occupied homes to the neighborhood, either through acquisition and rehabilitation mentioned earlier or through new construction.

Included in the above statistics is the renovation of Town Pines Court. The City was awarded $225,000 to improve Town Pines Court.  This 22-unit townhouse development was in dire need of improvement.  The City also used the funds to re-pave the parking lot, complete facade improvements, landscape with new trees, flowers, and fencing, and install a new community sign.  The Town Pines Court Homeowners Association contributed to the project by making a cash contribution, replacing their lighting with street lights that match the street lights installed by the City on West Washington Street and hiring a maintenance company to maintain the improvements.

 
IMAG0887The Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA) partnered with Pennrose Development to improve its housing conditions and create homeownership opportunities.  They demolished 164 units and rebuilt 174 units of Obery Court and College Creek Terrace.  As part of that redevelopment, the City received $225,000 in Community Legacy funds to help with the demolition.
 
Now that redevelopment is complete, there are 174 affordable rental units privately managed and affordable to low- and moderate-income households.  These 174 units comprised over one-half of neighborhood’s public housing units. 

In addition, Habitat constructed 10 new units on land provided by HACA.  The City’s FY 2008 Community Legacy application supported this project by providing $175,000 to help HACA demolish public housing units to make way for the 10 new homeownership units.  In addition to Community Legacy funds, the City contributed Community Development Block Grant funds ($55,000) to help the new Habitat families with closing costs and HOME funds ($250,000) to help the families with their mortgages.

The old “Butterworth” building, purchased by the Bowman Community Development Corporation (BCDC), will demolished to make way for 6 new rental units for veterans.  The City received $100,000 from the Community Legacy Program to demolish the building.  BCDC has applied for Partnership Rental Housing funds to construct the new units.  BCDC hopes to complete the project in the fall 2017.

Community Legacy and City funds also have been used to revitalize the community core.  The City installed a new kiosk, brick crosswalks, streetlights, and flower baskets on West and West Washington Streets as part of the Gateway project.  The kiosk explains the history of the Old Fourth Ward.  Moreover, Anne Arundel County has installed flower boxes in the Whitmore Garage to soften the facade and make the building more visually appealing.  The City also rehabilitated the Stanton Center and installed the Northwest Street Park.

To improve public safety, neighborhood residents formed the Clay Street Public Safety Team in October 2002.  This group successfully revived the Neighborhood Watch program, and executed the recommendations contained in the Clay Street Community Safety Plan developed by the Neighborhood Design Center.  The team meets at 6:00 a.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the Stanton Center.

Lastly, to strengthen community leadership, the City helped Town Pines Court residents reactivate their Homeowners Association.  Since then, the group submitted the revival papers, elected a board of directors and officers, and developed by-laws and parking rules.  The Board meets on the third Monday of every month at the Stanton Center.

Other neighborhood revitalization efforts include the Timothy House and Timothy Gardens Renovation.  The State awarded $2.6 million in State funding to a local affordable housing nonprofit developer, Homes for America, to rehabilitate Timothy House and Gardens, two project-based Section 8 developments with 81 units in the Clay Street neighborhood.  This project has been approved and is targeted for completion in 2017.  With completion of the Timothy House project, seventy-three percent of the neighborhood’s affordable housing stock will have been replaced or improved.