In the late 1990s, four small Maryland communities — Mount Rainier, Brentwood, North Brentwood and Hyattsville — joined forces to create the Gateway Arts District, a bold initiative designed to revitalize a two-mile stretch of the historic U.S. Route One Corridor in Prince George’s County through an infusion of artists and arts facilities.
The first of the Gateway projects, Mount Rainier Artist Lofts, created 44 units of affordable housing for artists and their families in a new four-story building one block from the District of Columbia border. This $11.7 million project — the first Artspace live/work project involving new construction — also contains 7,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.
Residents of Mount Rainier enjoy the same amenities associated with historic warehouse lofts, including high ceilings and large windows, in an energy-efficient new building. The project’s affordable rents and proximity to public transportation, as well as Mount Rainier’s small-town charm, make it even more attractive.
In the years since the Mount Rainier project opened, the Gateway Arts District has grown rapidly. The Gateway’s annual Open Studio Tour boasts 17 venues, 70 studios and more than 120 artists.