Rebuilding of O'Donnell Heights public housing site continues

O'Donnell Heights once held 900 units of public housing. The rebuilding continues.

Construction has begun on about 70 new townhomes in O'Donnell Heights, marking the next phase in the rebuilding of what was once a sprawling public housing site in southeast Baltimore.

The developer, a partnership of Michaels Development Co. and AHC Greater Baltimore, said it expects the 68 rental units to be complete in 2018. The first new 76 units on the 62-acre site, which once held about 900 units, opened in 2014.

Half of the units in this phase will be subsidized with project based vouchers; the other half are reserved for residents earning no more than 60 percent of area median income. About 23 of the units will be open to previous residents of O'Donnell Heights, a public housing development located at 6301 Boston Street that dates to the 1940s.

The Housing Authority razed 600 units there in the 2000s, citing rundown conditions and vacancy in the barracks-style development, which was constructed as wartime housing for defense workers and converted to public housing after the war.

In 2010, the Housing Authority selected Michaels and AHC to lead redevelopment of the area, which was renamed Key's Pointe, a reference to the Key Bridge which is visible from the property. The master plan calls for 925 new units to be constructed over 10 to 15 years, with a mix of subsidized housing, market-rate apartments and owner-occupied units.

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