Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Edmondson Village: Master Planning at Work

Community Master Plans are tools that are used to implement change in a neighborhood that is experiencing problems. Master plans are very comprehensive while at the same time looking at issues with a microscope. Master plans in Baltimore still have a long way to go in achieving their goals. There's nothing wrong with that, after all it takes a long time to spur development interest and allocate funds to make improvements. That's what makes Edmondson Village such an anomaly.Edmondson Village is the first but far from the last Community Master Plan for Sheila Dixon to put out as Mayor. I'm writing this as a follow up to one of my very first posts nearly two years ago. It was called Edmondson Village: This Could Get Worse Before it Gets Better. In early 2007 Edmondson Village was showing signs of slipping into the same urban wasteland that encompasses its neighbors to the east. Edmondson Village is in between the blighted neighborhoods surrounding the MARC Station and the peaceful neighborhoods that are just over the City/County line. The Edmondosn Village Master Plan has taken off at a break neck speed unlike any I've ever seen. I toke ride down to Edmondson Village with my trusty camera and before I got there I drove through Forest Park through Garrison Boulevard. Forest Park has always been thought of as one of Baltimore's better neighborhoods while Edmondson Village hasn't. Garrison Boulevard is plagued with vacant and blighted housing that needs redevelopment and a decaying commercial corridor. Forest Park also has a Master Plan that's been on the books much longer than Edmondson Village's. If I had to choose which was the better neighborhood I'd have to say Edmondson Village.
Operation Orange Cone, an effort launched by the Dixon Administration to make much needed street repairs is at work in Edmondson Village's side streets which were in a state of disrepair. Exterior facades are being improved a landscaped median has been planted along Edmondson Avenue.
Edmondson Avenue is the only liability here. Everything bad perception of the neighborhood is located here.Yes there has been improvement along Edmondson Avenue but when one drives along Edmondson Avenue they don't know what's in Edmondson Village and it must reflect the neighborhood as a whole.
First lets talk the Village Center, once the ash from the fire clears and once it's rebuilt lets talk a revamp of tenants. The combination of the influx of home owners from Uplands and the Shopping Center's historical significance, a better tenant selection to make the center more of a destination than a neighborhood center it makes perfect sense especially since Edmondson Village residents have wanted better tenants in their Village Center. New tenants should include a Trader Joe's, Marshalls, a Bank, Sit down restaurants, such as Outback Steakhouse, Pizzeria Unos, a Sit down Chinese Restaurant, Gold's Gym, Barnes & Noble with a Starbucks Coffee, Friendly's and an AT&T. Next, the housing stock, I think that row homes are no longer fit in the Edmondson Avenue corridor. I think mid rise elevator condos with underground parking should replace the row houses that now dominate Edmondson Avenue.
Well, we just saw a Master Plan get off to a great start and great way to keep it going.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do away with the row homes???
You must not have any memories of just what It was like years ago!