Friday, July 5, 2013
Baltimore's Next Arts & Entertainment District: LaTrobe Homes?
One can't help but notice when looking at a map of LaTrobe Homes that actually very close to Greenmount West, which is part of Station North. Station North is gentrifying more and more by the day and the gentrification is heading east from the Charles North area to Greenmount West. Charles North may become a victim of its own gentrification efforts as glitzy new developments for the area are planned in the coming decades.
I envision LaTrobe Homes as an expansion of Station North. I think that will then encourage the rehabilitation of existing row homes and redevelopment of vacant lots in Johnston Square and Oliver. So now there's the burning question of how this new development will look. First thing's first; public housing for Seniors. This is a must have for any development replacing outdated public housing and LaTrobe Homes is no different. The Senior public housing will act as a barrier between the prisons and the rest of the new development. It will contain a mix of amenity filled services including independent living, assisted living, and nursing home setups. Existing LaTrobe Homes Seniors will get first puck when it comes to available units.
Now the fun stuff, the actual Arts & Entertainment area; it will be focused along Harford Avenue (the Main St. of the new Neighborhood.) I envision Harford Avenue to flanked with live/work lofts with Art Galleries and other Retail that will serve the Neighborhood like a Farmers Market. Perhaps even a Grocery Store can go here as this area is a Food Desert. The Live/Work lofts will be sprinkled throughout the new development but the heaviest concentration will be on Harford Avenue. The goal for Harford Avenue is for it to emulate North Avenue in Station North. The Live/Work lofts as well as some of the regular residences, will have Artist subsidies.
In addition to the Artist Housing, there will be normal market rate housing some of which will emulate some of the housing recently built in Station North. There will be a few public housing sprinkled throughout the development for LaTrobe Homes Residents who aren't seniors.
Right now LaTrobe Homes is an area of the City plagued by crime, blight, and population loss. Once redeveloped the area (including Johnston Sqaure and Oliver) will be flanked with population growth, safety, beauty, and a high quality of life for all Residents.