Federal Hill Main Street Launches Daily Street Cleaning, Adds Cross Street String Lighting, and Begins Sidewalk Repairs

| June 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

Federal Hill Main Street (FHMS) is taking on a number of new initiatives in the neighborhood that are mostly being funded by grants from the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership (SBGP). These include a new five-day-a-week street cleaning crew, string lighting along the unit block of E. Cross St., sidewalk repairs and power washing, and new plantings around the business district.

SBGP invests a share of video lottery terminal revenues from Horseshoe Casino Baltimore and other Maryland casinos to improve neighborhoods in South and Southwest Baltimore. FHMS received a $40,000 grant from SBGP as part of its Summer 2018 Grant Cycle for “lighting, plantings, and other improvements to the streetscape, by volunteers” and a $36,787.50 grant in SBGP’s Winter 2019 Grant Cycle for “cleaning initiative in Federal Hill’s business corridors.” The Federal Hill Business Association (FHBA) is contributing $10,000 to these new FHMS initiatives.

FHMS is budgeting $47,000/year to hire the Living Classrooms Foundation to clean the street of the business district for approximately three hours every Thursday to Monday morning and to power wash the sidewalks. The boundaries for the cleaning are Hamburg St. to the north, Ostend St. to the south, Charles St. to the west, and Light St. to the east. This program is already underway.

FHMS is spending $32,800 on plantings and maintenance around the business district which includes planting Loripe in the more than 105 tree pits around the business district, and putting holly trees and annuals in the 33 planters around the community.

$9,000 was spent by FHMS in recent months to add the string lighting. FHMS is hoping to add more string lighting to Light St. and S. Charles St. in the future. FHMS Executive Director Cathy Rosenbaum said the addition of the new string lighting “looks awesome.”

Photo courtesy of Federal Hill Main Street

FHMS also initiated a project to repair the brick sidewalks around the business district. This is underway and is being funded by Baltimore City.

Another initiative being launched by FHMS is a walking tour through Federal Hill that is guided by QR codes on a mobile app.

“There’s a lot of really cool stuff going on, we can’t thank SBGP enough,” said Rosenbaum.

These improvements come to the Federal Hill Business District as Cross Street Market is beginning to reopen after an $8.5-plus million renovation. “The market is going too be a transformative change,” said Rosenbaum.

“I’m really excited for Federal Hill Main Street,” said SBGP Executive Director Brad Rogers. “The renovated market is coming online and that’s going to bring a lot of life and activity to Cross St. We wanted to time the improvements with the opening.”

SBGP manages about $7,000,000 a year in Casino Impact Grants and budgets about $1 million/year to Community Grants, about $1.5 million/year to Enhanced Services to public spaces in the community, and $3 million/year to Transformational Projects. “We budget conservatively, so if we have additional money, we can make everyone happy by doing more.” 

“What we hope to do is have an ongoing commitment to Federal Hill Main Street, so that they have a stable baseline of Enhanced Services funding they can rely on. And they can come to us for Community Grants when they have specific projects in mind,” said Rogers.

In regards to all the projects SBGP is funding, Rogers said, “We want to make sure there are spaces in South Baltimore to come together and enjoy being in South  Baltimore.”  

 

About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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