In November 2015, the Hogan administration granted $650,000 to fund a storefront improvement program supporting small businesses affected by the protests in response to the death of Freddie Gray.
Grant funds are used for architectural design, workforce development and construction services to improve building and storefront exteriors so that the visual appeal and marketability of individual buildings and commercial districts will be enhanced.
The program received 145 applications requesting grant funds to improve more than 180 individual buildings. Of these, the twenty-six highest priority projects were chosen for award, which will result in exterior upgrades to nearly 50 businesses. Seventy-three percent of these buildings were in areas of concentrated damage after the protests. Each storefront will receive up to $10,000 in improvements.
Artists: Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, Jubilee Arts Contractor: Civic Works
Architect: Tomato Design, LLC Contractor: Civic Works
Architect: ArchPlan Inc. Philipsen Architects Contractor: Living Classrooms
Grant Program Manager: Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
Architectural Design: AIABaltimore, Baltimore Heritage, Neighborhood Design Center
Workforce Development/Construction: Living Classrooms, Civic Works
Advocacy: Preservation Maryland