Frederick County Looking To Use Part Of Prospect Center Property For Affordable Housing

Officials say it could be workforce housing, or senior housing.

The Prospect Center, Himes Ave. (Photo from Frederick County Government)

Frederick, Md (KM) Frederick County is looking to use part of the land near the Prospect Center building off of Himes Avenue in Frederick for affordable housing. County Housing Director Vincent Rogers says County Executive Jessica Fitzwater has proposed in her transition report of taking surplus land the county owns and turning it into affordable housing.

“And so following through on her transition report, we’re evaluating the possibility of that underutilized land being developed into affordable housing, which could be either workforce housing, senior housing, or a combination of the two,” says Rogers.

As for where on the property it would be located, “if you’re coming into the place from Himes Avenue, and the building is sort of in front of you and towards the right, there’s a parking lot to the left of the building which is what we’re looking at right now,” he says.

Rogers says 150 to 200 housing units could be constructed on that underused parking lot at the site.

The county has requested $7.5-million dollars in federal funding for this project, and Rogers says 6th District Representative David Trone has expressed his support for this request. “We think it’s a very strong proposal, and our understanding from Congressman Trone was he was very excited to receive this from us. And now we wait and see if we get the award,” says Rogers.

As part of the process, the county will be sending out requests of interest to potential developers to gauge their interest in developing this site into affordable housing.. “We want to put out there without too much constraints on it .just to see what the market brings back to us,” he says. “We’re very interested in a mixed income, multi-generational types of projects.”

All in all, Rogers says,¬† this is a good location for an affordable housing project. “It’s near bus stops; it’s right off of Route 40; very close to opportunities for employment. And we’re just excited about the possibility of providing an additional¬† asset for affordable housing,”: he says.

The county purchased the building and its surrounding property in 2021 for $20-million with the anticipation of providing additional space for a number of local agencies.

By Kevin McManus