At last week’s meeting, the City Council approved a letter supporting the Governor’s fiscal year 2016 request to continue funding the program along with Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) other core neighborhood revitalization programs.

These programs include: Neighborhood Business Works and the Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund.

Since 2002, Community Legacy has contributed to the more than $1 billion in development activity that is transforming US Route 1 from an auto-dominated thoroughfare into a series of vibrant, walkable nodes. With further redevelopment planned along this corridor and other neighborhoods, particularly the College Park Transit District, the City expects to continue leveraging funds from these vital programs to promote transit-oriented development, create employment opportunities, and provide a range of housing.

The City has a successful history with the Community Legacy program, as it has received 12 grant awards since its inception including the following noteworthy examples:

  1. Gap financing for property acquisition to develop a $20 million mixed-use project housing 369 students near the University of Maryland.
  2. Gap financing for property acquisition to construct a 290-space parking garage in Downtown that will serve upcoming redevelopment efforts.
  3. Funds for the demolition of three blighted buildings that were in highly visible locations on Route 1 and nuisances to their neighborhoods.
  4. Funds for interior and exterior tenant improvements that have helped two businesses open, including the only independent coffee shop on Route 1.

Like College Park, many local governments lack the financial resources to prevent decline, much less to revitalize themselves into thriving communities and thus the continued funding of the programs are a necessity.