Baltimore officials host groundbreaking for $11 million Hollins House renovation

Officials hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Hollins House affordable apartment complex Tuesday.

The Community Preservation and Development Corporation and the Housing Authority of Baltimore City held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday to celebrate an $11 million renovation to the Hollins House affordable apartment complex in Southwest Baltimore.

A federal grant funded $90,000 in renovations to each of the apartment building's 130 units, providing residents with granite countertops, new doors, walk-in closets and other amenities, officials said. It is expected to be finished in March 2017.

The more than 30-year-old building houses low-income seniors and people with disabilities, officials said.

J. Michael Pitchford, president and CEO of the development corporation, said he hopes the project — and the recent University of Maryland expansion nearby — are a harbinger of similar initiatives on the city's neglected west side.

"This kind of investment ought to spawn other investment," he said.

Councilman William "Pete" Welch, whose district includes the apartment complex's Hollins Market neighborhood, said the renovated building will be "an anchor in our community."

Timothy Prunty, 53, has been living in Hollins House for four years. He said he's as excited for the added programs the initiative will bring — such as a class on how to treat diabetes and an exercise class — as he is for the renovation.

"It will be a tremendous upgrade," Prunty said. "The available resources are an extension of that revitalization."

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

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