For Seawall, developing the six properties represents another step in reclaiming Remington from urban blight. Already, Seawall has redeveloped the old U.S. Census building at 26th and Howard as Miller's Court, which is also teacher housing and offices for nonprofits. Seawall has also purchased abandoned row houses in the area and is rehabbing them as future starter homes for its teacher tenants.
Seawall is also converting an old tire shop across the street from Miller's Court. Single Carrot Theatre will move into that building and Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen will open a butcher shop and restaurant there. Young Audiences of Maryland also plans to move there.
"Five years ago, Remington didn't look like it does today," Morville said. "Five years from now, it's not going to look like it does today."
Mortimer said he informed city officials about Sewall earlier in the day, including Baltimore City Council president Bernard C. Jack Young and council members Carl Stokes and Mary Pat Clarke.
Mortimer told community leaders in Charles Village, Remington and Old Goucher at a meeting Thursday evening.
John Viles, who attended the meeting with community leaders Thursday evening as a representative of the Remington Neighborhood Alliance, said he was heartened by the announcement about Seawall.
"i'm really positive about it," Viles said. Now we have to start over (with a new developer), but I think these guys have a good attitude."
Judith Kunst, president of the Greater Remington Improvement Association, said she likes Seawall too, but worries about Seawall buying properties that could be in litigation for a long time.
"Í think it's important that we wait and see what happens," Kunst said.
Morville said that once Mortimer's lawsuit is resolved, "we'll be ready to rock. But the process could take awhile."
Councilwoman Clarke, who attended the meeting with community leaders and was briefed by Mortimer earlier in the day, said the news was "very promising."
"These are developers who, working with the community, have begun to transform Remington in ways that the community wants it transformed, keeping its character but fixing old buildings and understanding (the importance of) affordability. I was very surprised, but I'm pleased."
Benn Ray, president of the Hampden Village Merchants Association and a longtime critic of Wal-Mart and 25th Street Station, also reacted positively to the announcement.
"Ha-ha, we won," said Ray, who did not attend the meeting. He has long argued that the 25th Street Station project would be too large for the area. Ray co-filed an unsuccessful lawsuit to appeal the City Council's decision to grant zoning approval for the shopping center. But the Maryland courts found that they did not live close enough to the site to file such an appeal.
"With Seawall's reputation, I feel confident they will do a development that fits the size and the scope of the neighborhood," Ray said. "They have a sterling reputation and it's an excellent opportunity to connect Charles Village, Remington, Hampden and Station North all together into one logical, cohesive corridor."