Courtesy of Bmore Media – North Avenue, like much of the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, gets a lot of its buzz from its nightlife and reputation for a thriving underground arts scene. Poetry readings at theWindup Space, music and pizza at Joe Squared, a play at Single Carrot Theatre or a drink at Liam Flynn’s Ale House might be a typical night out for twenty-and-thirty-something hipsters.
But the area’s advocates say North Avenue needs to give people a reason to come to the neighborhood during the day if they want to erase the perception among older folks that the area offers nothing but crime and urban blight. Property owners who are redeveloping several key buildings along North Avenue hope to bring more daytime traffic with cafes, shops, classrooms, artists studios, performance spaces and startup tech companies.
The Maryland Institute College of Art has just snatched up another building in Station North, which it plans to renovate for around $5 million and use for its expanding graduate programs, MICA President Fred Lazarus says. This building will connect with its graduate student building Studio Center, whose $20 million renovation wraps up this month. The school’s expanded presence in the neighborhood will be one of the area’s biggest catalysts, area leaders say.
Down the street, building owners Carolyn Frenkil and Mike Schecter arespending $1 million to renovate the North Avenue Market and are talking to the owners of a café and bookstore, an ice cream shop and other tenants. Developer Jubilee Baltimore Inc. has just hired a project manager to spearhead a renovation of a historic Art Deco-style building and the Baltimore Development Corp. has received three proposals for the redevelopment of the Parkway Theatre.
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