Seawall has unveiled plans to redevelop the 27-2900 block of Remington Avenue with three separate projects, based on suggestions from residents ranging from day care and doctor's offices to apartments, a health club and an art gallery.
In the 2700 block, a "hodgepodge" of 10 underutilized and vacant properties, including several storage lots and an old church, would be torn down to make way for a five-story, U-shaped building, with 8,500 square feet of retail on street level, 130 affordable rental apartments above, and 177 parking spaces, 127 of them underground and 50 in the building itself.
In the 2800 block, Seawall would redevelop the Anderson body shop as 21,000 square feet of retail, as well as 101 parking spaces, some of which would be inside the building.
In the 2900 block, two existing buildings would be redeveloped with 28,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. A Pizza Boli's would be razed for additional parking.
"If the community wants a barbecue joint, I'm going to find the best barbecue joint I can find," Morville told 50 people at a recent community meeting Saturday. He said he envisions the projects as "neighborhood retail," with no big-box stores planned, but did not rule out chain stores.
Seawall is well known for redeveloping the old Union Mill in Hampden and the former U.S. Census building in Remington, now called Miller's Court, as affordable housing for new teachers and nonprofit offices.
Seawall is also rehabbing numerous row houses in the area so that its teacher tenants can buy them eventually as first-time home owners.
Looking toward the future
With Halloween more than two months away, Remington resident Erin Haithcock Goodloe was already handing out fliers at the picnic for the neighborhood's annual Hauntingdon party and recruiting volunteers.
Goodloe, an eight-year resident, is excited not only about the Halloween party, but also about Remington's new-found status as a hot, up-and-coming neighborhood.
"I've always thought Remington was great and I'm thrilled other people are acknowledging it, too," she said.
Kunst said Remington residents would turn out for events like Rock Remington Clean and Hauntington, whether or not redevelopment was coming. But she said plans for the neighborhood's future certainly don't hurt and that she is trying to rebrand Remington with slogans such as "Making Remington Better," on canvass bags that she is giving to her association members.
"I think (redevelopment is) an exciting motivator," she said.
Councilman Stokes, who lives in nearby Barclay, said Remington doesn't need much motivation, because it as "an old-time neighborhood," where residents look out for one another and come together for various projects.
Stokes said he doesn't think a redeveloped Remington will become a victim of over-gentrification, as some people say Hampden has become. He predicts "Remington-ification."
"I think we'll get a mix of new people and they will fall in line with the traditions of the neighborhood," he said.
"I think it's very positive that we're going to get new development," Clarke said. "We just have to make sure housing remains affordable."
"I hope it's not as bad as Hampden. I liked the old Hampden," said lifelong Remington resident Tina Brady, picking up a recycling bin. But she said in concept, she supports redevelopment.
"It's just bringing the neighborhood up," she said. "For a long time, the neighborhood was down."