State awards funds for 'sustainable' development

Projects combine historic preservation, 'green' building practices

February 11, 2011|By Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun

Ten redevelopment projects around Maryland will receive more than $11.1 million in state grants to move to the construction stage under a program intended to encourage historic preservation and "green" building practices.

Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Friday that the funds are coming from the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit program, successor to the state's old Historic Preservation Tax Credit program. Despite its name, the program was structured for 2011 to give outright grants, not tax credits.

The 10 projects represent a total estimated investment of more than $82.4 million and are expected to help create 740 construction jobs. They were selected from a field of 36 applicants who sought approximately $40 million in state funds.

With initiatives such as this program, O'Malley said, "we're moving forward in the toughest of times while other states are dropping back." Raymond Skinner, Maryland Secretary of Housing and Community Development, said this program "will ensure than no community will be left behind."

The projects and their state grants are:

•Sheppard Pratt Gatehouse in Towson. Renovation of the gatehouse to create two guest apartments for the Sheppard Pratt Health System, $232,200.

•Oella Community Hall in Oella. Conversion of a community center to office space, $100,000.

•A. Hoen Lithograph plant in Baltimore. Conversion of a vacant factory to office and commercial space, possibly a "healthy foods" commissary for the city school system, $3 million.

•Algonquin Building in Baltimore. Renovation to convert building from offices to 56 apartments, $1.8 million.

•Clifton Park Mansion in Baltimore. Conversion into a community center, $1.5 million.

•Crown Cork and Seal Machine Shop in Baltimore. Conversion of a vacant factory to an art- and design-oriented high school, $3 million.

•Raffel Building in Baltimore. Conversion of a vacant factory for residential use, $348,900.

•Buildings at 9-11 and 13-17 W. Antietam St. in Hagerstown. Renovation of vacant commercial properties for use as apartments, $284,000.

•Building at 101 S. Potomac St. in Hagerstown. Conversion of a vacant commercial building into apartments, $289.900.

•Oxford Community Center in Oxford. Conversion of a former school to a community center, $625,000.

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