River’s Edge brings a new day to Downtown housing

 

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Salisbury’s new River’s Edge Apartments and Studio for the Arts is open and generating interest as a unique concept that’s new to Salisbury.

Artists – from visual  to performing to literary — are given first priority to rent units in the 100,000 square-foot building on 4 acres at Fitzwater Street.

One-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are affordable, thanks to funds  from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, which provided Maryland  housing funds and administered tax credits to the developer, explained Andrew Hanson, vice president of Osprey Property Company,  based in  Annapolis.

He’s  a Salisbury native who wanted to undertake the $17 million River’s Edge project not only for artists, but also to eliminate the structure that was  there before, partially constructed and an eyesore.

“It was a monstrosity, rusty, decaying. I was tired of looking at it,” he said.

River’s Edge opened the end of March and already one-third of the 90 apartments are rented, with 75 percent to 80 percent of them occupied by artists. Federal guidelines allow giving preference to them, Hanson said.  Applications to rent, and information about tours, are on the Web site.

Each apartment has a view of either the river or downtown. Some have an 10-by-18-foot or 9-by-16-foot loft where artists can create under natural light.

One-bedroom residences cost $398 per month and the most expensive are priced at $994, plus electric and appliances. There are no condo or other fees. Heating and air-conditioning bills are paid.

Also on the property is a 2,300-square-foot studio for use by artists, as a place to work or take lessons. There’s a theater that seats up to 150 people, for intimate performances, as well as a cyber cafe, library, fitness center and warm-up kitchen, Hanson said.

“It’s not just for classic artists, but also for graphic designers, photographers, watercolor artists, writers. It’s a broad encompassing community to benefit downtown Salisbury, and that part of town. It’s going to be great for locals who want to interact with artists. I knew the downtown was on the upswing but the artists also need housing,” he said.

Offering affordable living, while supporting the arts community, is a first for Salisbury, but Hanson said similar apartment complexes are in Baltimore and outside Washington, D.C. “They are popping up around the country,” he  said.

“It’s a really cool concept.  It’s pretty unique.”

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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