Clay Street Revitalization Plan

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
Facade 24 Pleasant

Clay Street Community Legacy Plan

The process began in July 2001 when the city's Office of Community Development 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 Office of Community Development has been successful every year it has applied and 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 area since 2002.

Beginning with the first goal of improving housing conditions, the city improved the exteriors of 43 owner-occupied units. It 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 more than 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 successfully increased 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 community through the acquisition and rehabilitation mentioned earlier or through new construction.

Town Pines Court

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 streetlights that match the streetlights installed by the City on West Washington Street, and hiring a maintenance company to maintain the improvements. 

Town Pines Court

Moreover, the city helped Town Pines Court residents reactivate their Homeowners Association to strengthen community leadership. Since then, the group submitted the revival papers, elected a board of directors and officers, and developed by-laws and parking rules.  

Obery Court

Obery Court and College Creek Terrace Redevelopment

The Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA) collaborated with Pennrose Development to improve its housing conditions and create homeownership opportunities. They demolished 164 units and rebuilt 174 Obery Court and College Creek Terrace units. 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 the neighborhood's public housing units.  

New Homeownership and Rental Housing

In addition, Habitat constructed ten 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 ten 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 them with their mortgages.

Habitat for Humanity Homes
The old Butterworth building

The old "Butterworth" building, purchased by the Bowman Community Development Corporation (BCDC), was demolished to make way for six new rental units for veterans. The city received $100,000 from the Community Legacy Program to demolish the building. BCDC received Partnership Rental Housing funds to construct the new units. The project is complete, and the new units are occupied. 

Community Investment

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. The city also rehabilitated the Stanton Center and installed the Northwest Street Park.

Neighborhood residents formed the Clay Street Public Safety Team in October 2002 to improve public safety. This group successfully revived the Neighborhood Watch program and executed the recommendations in the Clay Street Community Safety Plan developed by the Neighborhood Design Center.   

Northwest Street Park as part of Clay Street Community Investment
Homes at Monument

Bowman Place and Homes at Monument

Other neighborhood revitalization efforts include the Bowman Place and Homes at Monument Renovation (formerly Timothy House and Timothy Gardens). The state awarded $2.6 million in funding to a local affordable housing nonprofit developer, Homes for America, to rehabilitate the properties, which are two project-based Section 8 developments with 81 units. Thus, with the completion of this project, seventy-three percent of the neighborhood's affordable housing stock has been replaced or improved.

Universal Lodge #14

To continue the revitalization of Clay Street, the city worked with Universal Lodge #14 members to restore the building's exterior. The Lodge has existed for 160 years and purchased the building in 1940. The Lodge has been a vital part of the community, conducting coat drives and providing holiday meals in the neighborhood. 

Several prominent members of the Lodge have served the community: Dr. Aris T. Allen, physician, and state legislator Mr. John Chambers, former mayor of Annapolis. The Lodge is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Universal Lodge 14

The city has invested approximately $28,000 and received $200,000 in state Community Legacy funds to complete the exterior renovation of the building. The exterior renovation of the Lodge will preserve a historic structure, remove blighted conditions, improve neighborhood curb appeal, and contribute to both the revitalization of the neighborhood and the neighborhood's African-American History. The Maryland Historical Trust has approved the project.  

Morris H. Blum Apartments

The Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA) is rehabilitating the Morris H. Blum Senior Apartments, formally the Glenwood High-rise, located at the end of Clay Street. Morris H. Blum has 154 units, housing seniors and disabled persons. HACA has garnered State, County, and City funding, projected to be approximately $21 million. Total project cost is over $57 million. HACA's partner in this endeavor is The Community Builders. They expect to complete the work at the end of 2024 and will manage the property.

Morris H. Blum Apartments
Robert Eades Park

Robert Eades Park

To provide more public access to the water, Community Development staff, along with colleagues from Comprehensive Planning, Public Works, Mayor's Office, Harbor Master, Recreation and Parks, and other city staff, will embark on a restoration project for the park located at the end of Clay St. across from Morris H. Blum Apartments. The city received $200,000 in Community Legacy funds and has included the park construction in the city capital budget. The park will be completed in the spring of 2024.