In 1984, Hampden’s Avenue was filled with pawn shops and vacancy signs. There were no sushi bars, wine bars, or cafes… Rosen put together a partnership to create the Mill Centre Artist Studios… The project opened in 1986 and almost instantly, everything changed.
The cornerstone for the revitalization of this “Coolest Neighborhood in America” was the transformation of a civil war era cotton mill into a 100,000sf arts and creative business incubator. Within a few years the Avenue was filled with quirky shops, great cafes and home values soared from 35,000 to 250,000. Today finding a home in Hampden for less than 200,000 is nearly impossible.
Made famous for its starring role in John Waters’ films and long known as the place where everybody calls you “hon,” Hampden centers on 36th Street – known to locals simply as the Avenue.
You’ll find original shops and an eccentric array of cafes mingling with the barber shops and pharmacies that keep this authentic, hardworking neighborhood real.
Come for HONfest, the annual spring street festival dedicated to the beehive, cat’s-eye glasses and all things “hon.”
The documented success of Hampden has led Rosen many communities to seek out Wendy Rosen to help them replicate the success in communities across the US and Canada.