NIIF Investments

Restoring a Community Center in Northwest Baltimore

In the early 1990s, Rev. Robert Cornelius Hunt and the members of Good Shepherd Baptist Church established an urban outreach center in Park Circle to address the needs of community residents. The longtime pastor led the development of a $3.4 million multi-purpose center that included a basketball court, banquet hall, commercial kitchen, classrooms, and a business incubation center. Unfortunately, with Rev. Hunt’s passing and a shrinking congregation, the church and adjoining rec center were later abandoned and lost to foreclosure.

Now, this vacant building will find a second life thanks to the efforts of the newly formed Robert C Hunt Revitalization Center Community Development Corporation and Bishop Donte Hickman of Southern Baptist Church. The new CDC acquired the building at auction, aided by a $1.2 million bridge loan from NIIF and grant support from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

With fundraising ongoing to finance renovations, the new CDC is working to reopen the facility and deliver a variety of services for neighborhood residents including Headstart programming, CNA/GNA training, mental health counseling, and recreational amenities. The CDC aims to increase employment, decrease crime, and improve health outcomes in Park Circle through these offerings.