A week before the big "Re-imagining Maplewood Mall" event, Eighth District Councilwoman Cindy Bass and Commerce Department Chief Operating Officer Kevin Dow will announce $2.2 million in funding for a capital project to redesign Maplewood Mall in Germantown.

"I am very excited to announce such a significant capital contribution for the long overdue update of Maplewood Mall," Bass said. "The Mall holds untold potential to become a vibrant, yet intimate, urban space and an anchor for the revitalization of central Germantown."

The first phase of the project consists of seeking input from locals. Then comes the start of an eight-month design and engineering phase by year's end. From there, construction is expected to commence at the hidden nook.

Representatives from the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Planning Commission and the Streets Department will join with property owners and community organizations for the noon event which comes seven days before a gathering locals have planned for months.

"Over the next few months, my office, along with the City departments, will be engaging you, your neighbors, your organizations and your businesses in the design process," Bass said. "We want to include as many ideas and opinions about the design as we possibly can so that everyone in the Germantown community can say, 'I built this,' and we all can say, 'We built this.'

"This project will not happen overnight. The end of construction is the beginning of a new era for Maplewood Mall. The new Mall will be the site of programming and events, public art, and new business. My office will also work with existing businesses to help connect them to funds available for façade improvements and security cameras. We'll assist businesses the best we can, during construction."

Reimagining Maplewood Mall recap

The free block-party collaboration between Germantown United CDC, G-Town Radio and other community partners is spearheaded by G-Town Radio's Jim Bear.

They hope to reintroduce locals to the area as "a thriving place to shop and socialize."

Attendees will be able to check out the city's early plans for the Maplewood makeover. Bear said redesign plans have bandied about for years, but they're seeking feedback from people who may see it for the first time.

Bear said he sees the announcement as evidence of a groundswell of support building both locally and civically in an area which has long needed improvement.

"It's always been this mysterious place," Bear said. "Now, it could really reach its potential.

"I like to think it's representative of a new spirit among residents in the community, that they are making things happen for themselves while getting cooperation from [City Hall]. Put our own stamp on things instead of waiting for someone else to do it, or getting squeezed out."