Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fancy Some Redevelopment?

All Maps from Google Earth
All Photos Taken By Me
As of the 2000 Census, there were 15,000 vacant homes in the City of Baltimore. That number has gone down in the past 10 years and I'm curious to see what the 2010 census has to say in a few months. Needless to say there are still sections of the City that are all but deserted. Those selected areas can't make a comeback with their current housing stock. The houses are either obsolete or are two much of a hazard to try to rehab. It's at this point where these large sections of certain City Neighborhoods have to hit the wrecking ball. There is a pent up demand for new housing in the City, in some of the very neighborhoods where large portions need redevelopment also play host to a few blocks of new housing. Most of these homes were built in mid to late '90s through the earlier part of the past decade. These new homes are in perfect condition in neighborhoods that are in bad shape otherwise. Here are the selections of neighborhoods I have chosen for redevelopment.Park Heights-although there has been a major redevelopment initiatives for this neighborhood it still needs to be addressed. Most of these homes are below Woodland Avenue and west of Pall Mall Road.

New homes should be as narrow as their predessors but should contain modern amenities. One car garages in the first floor, the elimination of formal Dining Rooms in favor of large eat in Kitchens with walk in pantries, and a Master Suite with Walk in Closets and a "Superbath." These homes would be either three or four stories depending on the number of bedrooms and will be for a mix of incomes. The "affordable" houses might not have all the amenities as a market rate house. The Owenership/Rental Ratio will be 70/30.Franklin Square/Poppleton-The eastern edge of Poppleton that abuts to MLK Boulevard has enjoyed a revival first with the demolition of Lexington Terrace and their

The "Townes at the Terraces" Replacement and now the UMB Biotech Park.However, these success stories have not resulted in a turn around of West Poppleton and still further west, Franklin Square. Within the redevelopment of Poppleton, its other public housing development Poe Homes will be redeveloped, however, the "Poe House" and its row will not be. The nothern and eastern edge of the redevelopment site will be high density apartments/condos.The southern and western edges will be row homes like I described in the Park Heights Redvelopment Plan. Franklin Square is named after its lovely Public Square. Poppleton currently lacks one as part of its redevelopment a block in Poppleton will be spared as a public sqaure. The Ownership Rental Ratio will be 55/45.
Harlem Park-Just like Poppleton the eastern edge of Harlem Park is the healthiest. This can easily be attributed to it bordering Heritage Crossing, the highly sucessful although suburban redvelopment of Murphy Homes. As you can tell from the map there are plenty of vacant lots but Harlem Park's vacant housing count was 40% in 2000 so add that to the vacant lots, it's clear that redevelopment is needed here.I also don't believe Harlem Park gained population in the past 10 years, I believe it continued to lose population. Below Harlem Avenue the new housing will be Apartments/Condos while above Harlem Avenue it will be row homes. The row homes they're replacing are larger and wider than your average Baltimore Row Home and should be redeveloped as such. These will have 2 car garages, a large eat in Kitchen AND a formal Dining Room and downstairs Den or extra Bedroom with either a full or half bath. Also like Poppleton the Owner/Rental Ratio will be 55/45.Sandtown Winchester- Sandtown was given a great gift in the Schmoke Adminstration. The Non Profit "Enterprise Foundation" redeveloped and rehabbed hundreds of homes here for below market rate home ownership.The blocks with new housing have remained a huge success. Of course not this is only a small part of Sandtown mainly the southern and eastern edges. Gentrificaton has not come to the northern and western parts of Sandtown and I know why.

Smack dab in the middle of Sandtown is Gilmor Homes. Gilmor Homes is a low rise public housing development where there have been talks to demolish them in the past but I haven't heard anything of the sort lately. My redevelopment plan includes Gilmor Homes and the western and northern edges of the neighborhood.

Along Fulton and Monroe Sts. will be higher density Apartments/Condos to encourage TOD in the Rosemont Industrial Ruins. The Central part of Sandtown will be narrow row homes with modern amenities. The Owner/Rental Ratio will be 65/35 with an emphasis on affordable owner occupied housing.
Upton-Lucklily the Marble Hill District is located on the eastern edge of the Community because the western edge needs the most redevelopment. The homes on the western edge that warrants robust redevelopment aren't as large or as elegant as those in the Marble Hill District. These homes are also located just across Fremont Avenue from all the successfully redeveloped area of Sandtown.In theory, a redeveloped West Upton can in fact work. It's also located next to Heritage Crossing, also successful would be a boost to any redevelopment of Upton. New development, like the old will be smaller row homes except for the Upton Courts Apartment Complex. Home Owner/Rental Ratio would be 45/55 with an emphasis on affordable housing. McCulloh Homes-If you've followed me on my journey known as this blog you will see that I've gone back and forth on what the future should be for McCulloh Homes. If it's in this post that means it should be redeveloped. The "Senior and Handicap" High Rises will stay but the rest would go. At first when the State Center was up for redevelopment, McCulloh Homes was included, however, residents fought against it and won.

That was several years ago. Today, McCulloh Homes appear less and less occupied. I attended a meeting discussing TOD projects, one of those discussed was State Center and I asked why McCulloh Homes was taken off given that their population seemed to draining out. I was told that McCulloh Homes was under massive renovation and that explains the low occupancy. When was the last time the City renovated a public housing complex? I can't remember either. The City's standard protocol has been demolition, I believe the City is draining out McCulloh Homes in secret for redevelopment. Reservoir Hill-The rebirth of Reservoir Hill has been a tremendous grassroots effort that's still going on today. There are still areas that need work and there is new development planned to overlook Druid Hill Park.

What I'm proposing to have redeveloped is the blighted Madison Park North Apartments along North Avenue and a critical central block that cuts through the spine of the neighborhood. Once redeveloped Bolton Hill and Reservoir Hill won't seem like they're worlds apart because of North Avenue. New homes will be large with 2 car garages, formal dining rooms, and a downstairs 4thor 5th bedroom and full bath. This will be 100% Home Ownership.
Johnston Square and Oliver-Both these neighborhoods are eagerly waiting true renewal. There have been a few new town homes scattered throughout which have been an invaluable asset to the Community showing that they can in fact co exist with their surrounding blight while still looking immaculate. Homes here are small and with the exception of a few apartment complexes are mostly row homes.

New Apartments/Condos will be at the western border of Johnston Square so if and when the JFX is torn down, it will be a seemless transition from Mount Vernon on the west. The new town homes will be in the rest of the redevelopment zone in east Johnston Sqaure and Oliver. They will be smaller, like their predecessors with a 1 car garage and no formal dining room. Broadway East-Now that Middle East is being engulfed by the Hopkins Biotech Park and several public housing projects have been demolished, Broadway East just might hold the title of the worst neighborhood in East Baltimore. With a vacancy rate of 30% redevelopment won't be very hard. This neighborhood has an unrecognized catalyst for growth that needs to be utilized to its full advantage; Transit!

This neighborhood can be one of Baltimore's best Transit Hubs if done correctly. First the East Baltimore MARC Station to be built is not far, Second my personal Red Line plan has the one the Red Line "branches" going through Orangeville, and on the western edge the Green Line expansion to Morgan and hopefully points northeast thereof. New development closest to Broadway and the MARC Tracks will be High Density TOD Apartments/Condos with ground floor Retail while parts of the area further away will be town homes.
Pulaski Highway-Pulaski Highway in Baltimore is too much of well, a Highway. Because of that, its surroundings suffer and have become outdated. Pulaski Highway could be considered East Baltimore's "Road to Nowhere" except for the small detail that it does in fact go somewhere. In order to make Pulaski Highway function its interchanges with streets like Erdman Avenue and Moravia Road. Those should be made into regular signalized intersections and I've stated that I-895 should not extend that far in previous posts. Once Pulaski Highway is turned into an urban street like say Eastern Avenue, it can redevelop and function with the rest of the City.
Orangeville-Three letters for Orangeville's Future! TOD. This is the proposed location for the East Baltimore MARC Station and will eventually give wealthy Inner Harbor East Dwellers a run for their money. Currently an aging 20th Industrial Wasteland, there are a few homes here. Gone with the dated industry and in with the high density mixed use residential /retail/office/hotel that comes with upscale urban TOD. Orangeville should put Baltimore on the map with transit savvy Cities like Portland,OR or San Francisco.
Highlandtown Loft District-I saw drawrings for this and I must say I'm very impressed. The reuse of the long anbandoned Cork Factory and the Red Line Stop will close the gap that seperates Highlandtown from Greektown.

There's a little known neighborhood known as Kresson which is the old industrial buildings in between Highlandtown and Greektown with a few lonely row homes. This is what can be known as the next Station North and bring new residents into Southeast Baltimore. Highlandtown, your time has gone.
Eastern JFX-This is prime Real Estate. Demolish the JFX and Baltimore has expanded its Downtown. The Parking lots known as Penn Fallsway, The Prisons,(yes the prisons),

and Old Town Mall will all be converted into Sky Scrapers that range from residential, hotel, commercial, and retail. Further east will be town homes particularly where Douglass Homes, LaTrobe Homes and the already demolished Somerset Homes are. The only thing left in this zone will Monument House. Downtown and Johns Hopkins Hospital finally meet.

Barclay/Midway/Coldstream-This North Central chunk of Baltimore Real Estate suffers from old tired housing that feels desolate at times.

Barclay, is perhaps the most viable but east of Calvert St. despite its proximity to Station North and Charles Village is struggling to come back in its current form. Developers know this and have begun envisioning a new redeveloped Barclay with a Public Square. East Baltimore Midway has been forgotten and neglected. Time does not heel all woonds with some blocks entirely vacant. Redeveloping East Baltimore Midway will be a task like that of Uplands only bigger. The entire East Baltimore Midway neighborhood will be demolished. Coldstream, the lower part of Coldtream Homestead Montebello will also be demolished and will help bring back the signifigance of Historic Homestead Village to the north.Across Loch Raven Boulevard in Better Waverly there's a Rental Town Home Complex that doesn't go along with the Single Family Home and Row House motif that works well with the rest of Better Waverly.

And now perhaps the biggest redevelopment effort needed in the City The Road to Nowhere I'll let my friend and fellow Baltimore Writer Peter Tocco take over from here Now that's a lot of redevelopment!

1 comment:

Michael Lantz said...

Some of those area could really use a revitalization.I believe that they need to do something about the crime and they need to get true leadership in City Hall in order to turn the city around.