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O'Donnell Heights redevelopment to begin

The team picked to redevelop the 62-acre O'Donnell Heights public housing project in Southeast Baltimore has started construction after closing on $20 million in funding for the rental homes in phase one.

The Michaels Development Co. and AHC Greater Baltimore, the master developers, said Thursday that Bozzuto Construction Co. will build 76 townhomes with funding secured in January. The largest piece was raised by selling federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.

Eventually, the approximately 300 units of low-rise public housing on site will be torn down, but that is still years out. Earlier phases of the redevelopment project will rise on vacant land.

Andrew Vincent, director of AHC Greater Baltimore, said new construction will precede demolition to avoid displacing current residents — and to make room for some former residents displaced by the city's earlier teardowns on site. O'Donnell Heights, built about 70 years ago in what Vincent calls "barracks style," once had three times as many units.

Vincent expects construction on the first 76 units, near Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, will finish early next year. It hasn't been decided yet how many homes will be built there in total, but later phases will include some for-sale housing.

"The plan is to rebuild a community," Vincent said.

jhopkins@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jsmithhopkins

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