Source: Baltimore Development Corporation

DEC. 19--Two Baltimore City Main Street communities have been awarded Community Legacy funding through the State of Maryland's Department of Housing and Community Development.

Waverly Main Street will receive $205,000 for building rehabilitations in the business district around Greenmount Avenue between 28th and 35th Streets. The Washington Boulevard/Pigtown Main Street Program was awarded $256,000 in Community Legacy funds, to be used to create a Main Street Revolving Loan Fund to support acquisition of key commercial buildings along the corridor, upper story renovation of commercial buildings for residential use, and façade restoration projects.

"The Baltimore Main Streets program has been enormously successful in leveraging private investment in our communities," Mayor Martin O'Malley said in a written statement to the press. "These funds will help us build on the program already taking place in Waverly and along Washington Boulevard."

In 2002, the Waverly Main Street received $175,000 in Community Legacy funds, which was used to rehabilitate and upgrade 11 properties, including the new Waverly Grille & Café in the long-vacant Provident Bank building, Herman's Discount, Mr. Nifty Cleaners and five stores in the 3300 block of Greenmount Avenue.

Through its Community Legacy projects and the Baltimore Main Street's façade improvement program, Waverly Main Street can boast nearly $1 million in building rehabilitation investment, of which $743,000 is private investment. "Business owners who have improved their properties are already noticing an increase in customer traffic," noted Tim Slajchert, Waverly Main Street's board president in 2002-3. "This encourages other owners to upgrade as well, making our business district much more attractive to shop in."

The Washington Boulevard/Pigtown Main Street Revolving Loan Fund will provide gap financing to lessen the risk for small business owners willing to invest in the neighborhood. This program was also awarded Community Legacy funds in 2002, using its funds for façade restoration projects.

Baltimore Main Streets, a commercial revitalization program, has been at work in seven Baltimore neighborhood business districts since 2000.

For more information contact Mary Pat Fannon, director of the Baltimore Main Streets program, at (410) 779-3825.

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This story was published on December 19, 2003.