Wiley H. Bates 10-Year Anniversary: Foundation-Building and a Commitment to Historic Preservation and Senior Housing
Wiley H. Bates Heritage Park opened in 2006–an adaptive reuse of a high school turned affordable housing community for seniors. 10 years later, CPDC continues to innovate and create new opportunities.
On September 12, CPDC staff, residents and community leaders celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the opening of CPDC’s Wiley H. Bates Heritage Park in Annapolis, MD. Bates was once a prominent high school and the only public secondary school in Anne Arundel County to serve African Americans before desegregation.
In 2006, CPDC renovated the building into what is now a thriving mixed-use complex featuring 71 senior housing apartments, a senior center, a Boys and Girls Club, a museum dedicated to Annapolis merchant and civic leader Wiley H. Bates, and robust on-site services and amenities catering to seniors including: fresh produce delivery, recreational activities, a health care support center, fitness center, community meeting rooms, computer labs and more.
The anniversary program featured remarks from CPDC and community leaders who worked closely with the project including City of Annapolis Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson, Edgewood Management Senior Vice President Terrence Kelley and CPDC President & CEO Mike Pitchford. Wiley Bates alumna and resident Mary Thompson also addressed attendees.
“It took 26 years to put this building into use again,” said City of Annapolis’ Finlayson who has a long history with Bates. She attended the high school as a student in 1966, returned to teach there in 1975 and served on the city’s Development Committee to convert the property to senior housing a decade ago. “It’s been a journey, but one that has been worth every moment.”
“Bates is what housing should be,” said Edgewood Management’s Kelley. “I pride myself in having communities I’d want my own family to live in.”
At the same time CPDC celebrates 10-years at Bates, the organization is moving toward completion of a similar project: the historic preservation of a of a century-old school building in a prime area of Richmond, Virginia’s Highland Park community.
The building—which has stood at a prime intersection of that neighborhood for generations—will soon reopen as Highland Park Senior Apartments, offering 77 new and affordable apartments for seniors currently housed at the Richmond Redevelopment & Housing Authority’s Fredrick A. Fay Towers.
At Highland Park–which like Bates is an adaptive reuse of a former school building and historic site–CPDC is working to replicate the model that has been so successful at Bates, offering a rich network of services for residents and embarking on broader community development to help revitalize the surrounding neighborhood and its commercial corridor.
“CPDC’s work at Wiley H. Bates has made our work in Richmond possible.”
“CPDC’s work at Wiley H. Bates has made our work in Richmond possible,” said CPDC President and CEO Pitchford. “We brings decades of expertise not only in redeveloping housing that serves as a catalyst to reinvigorate entire neighborhoods—but also in tailored solutions for senior residents. Our goal is to engage and connect low-income senior residents to the services they need: transportation, quality healthcare, and access to local organizations offering senior services. That kind of community building is at the core of our value in the Richmond market.”
(Top left) Mary Thompson, a 90-year-old Bates 1943 alumna and current resident shares her experience.
(Top right) City of Annapolis Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson offers remarks on the significance of Bates in the community.