Long Branch, Bonifant businesses could get county funding

Purple Line construction continues along Arliss for planned tunnel. Photo by Mike Diegel.

Businesses in a portion of Long Branch and along Bonifant Street could receive funding to help offset the effects of Purple Line construction under terms of an amendment to the FY2017-2022 Capital Improvement Program.

The amendment was requested by the County Executive and approved last week by the County Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee.

The funding ($300,000) originally was intended to assist those businesses in the Long Branch “superblock,” bordered by Arliss Street, Flower Avenue, and Piney Branch Road, as part of the Long Branch Redevelopment Project, according to the council staff report.

The PHED committee (Councilmembers Nancy Floreen, [chair], George Leventhal and Council President Hans Riemer, all D-At Large members) amended the project description to “In the vicinity of the Long Branch Sector Plan area, including Bonifant Street, Silver Spring, Maryland,” according to staff.

The superblock includes local businesses such as El Golfo and El Gavilan restaurants, Ocean City Seafood, Super Mundo Latino Food Market, an auto care shop, a deli and others.

Businesses along Bonifant that could be affected by the Purple Line include Kefa Café, Mandalay and Roger Miller restaurants, Urban Winery and others.

The county still expects the state to develop “a program to provide technical and financial assistance to businesses impacted by the Purple Line construction,” and “The programs supported by this amendment are intended to be a model for the State, as well as the ‘first step’ in fulfilling the Purple Line Corridor Community Development Agreement,” the staff report reads.

However, the General Assembly failed to approve any legislation to provide assistance to the area during its last session.

The proposed county programs would include $50,000 for marketing, $30,000 for training, $70,000 for signs and $150,000 for technical assistance (financial planning, developing a social media strategy and/or customer service competency, etc.).

The proposal is based on a similar program provided for Wheaton businesses during the construction of a Park and Planning’s new headquarters and other changes around the Wheaton Triangle.

The amendment, effective for FY18 and FY19, will be part of the CIP to be considered by the full council prior to budget approval in May.

 


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