You know that parking lot right near where Mount Royal runs into North Avenue – the one behind MICA’s Commons building, with that big pink sculpture like a twisted metal flower and the beat-up half-pipe? Well it won’t be there much longer.

MICA is using the property to build another residence hall, which they’re calling “Commons II” (their naming meeting must’ve lasted all of 30 seconds). The school is pumping $16.5 million into the renovation, which will be able to house about 240 additional students.

The Baltimore Sun writes “The project represents a key part of MICA’s strategy under longtime president Fred Lazarus IV to extend northward and rejuvenate the North Avenue corridor by connecting Bolton Hill with the 100-square-block Station North Arts and Entertainment District to the east.” The expansion is probably as exciting for the area as it is for MICA – the school has played a huge part in making the Station North District what it is today, bringing art, college kids, and yes, a lot of money into the area.

Here’s to upward mobility, Baltimore!