Princess Anne Revitalization Contingent on Partnerships & Individual Projects

A DelmarvaNow article (2017-10-02) discussed the revitalization of historic downtown Princess Anne in Somerset County and highlighted the both individual projects and partnerships that have made the ongoing revitalization efforts successful. The article noted that Princess Anne contains approximately 250 historically important buildings downtown, including a uniquely designed courthouse.

One critical aspect discussed by the article is the town’s partnership with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). UMES staffs the Hawks Corner, a community engagement office located in downtown Princess Anne that is staffed by UMES Coordinator for Outreach and Strategic Initiatives Walter Woods:

Inside is exhibit space displaying art created by students, meeting space that’s available to the community and a storefront where Hawks merchandise is sold. …

Woods, who is a member of the International Town Gown Association, wants to focus on creating what he calls “One Princess Anne.” His plans include offering Business During Hours events, a play on the Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours gatherings, and monthly brown bag lunch meetings in which UMES faculty members will present informal talks on down-to-earth topics, such as cancer research, beets or childhood obesity.

According to the article, another key aspect of Princess Anne’s revitalization is based on key individual projects, such as the ongoing renovation of the former Princess Anne Pharmacy building, which will house a Behavioral Health Services branch and Maple Shade Youth & Family Services on the first floor and four apartments on the second floor.

Dr. Niru Jani, chief administrator of Behavioral Health Services, with offices in Salisbury, Cambridge and other Shore locations, purchased the property at auction this summer. …

“The building is so beautiful, we want to bring it back to its original glory,” Jani said. “When the storefronts are completed inside, we want to restore the exterior, but we are hoping for help in the form of grants to help with the cost of the facade restoration.”

The article also described other new or renovated businesses on the main street of Somerset Avenue, including the Washington Inn & Tavern, a wine store, liquor dispensary, consignment shop, florist, antique shop, several salons, an ice cream shop, and “Independence Hall” – a mixed used building which allows “pop-up shops” on the first floor and has apartments above. The town secured a grant from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore to offer free live music and food trucks every Thursday in July and August. The article stated that the town attracted roughly 1,000 attendees people to the Thursday events.