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Central Baltimore Partnership housing plan calls for thousands more units

Central Baltimore Partnership releases $17.5 million housing plan with redevelopment goals

The Central Baltimore Partnership wants to spend $17.5 million over the next seven years to catalyze the transformation of 10 neighborhoods, guided by a redevelopment plan released Tuesday.

The plan by the partnership, a coalition of community groups, universities, nonprofits and developers, calls for rehabilitating hundreds of homes; adding mid- and high-rise apartment buildings along Charles Street and in Remington; turning St. Paul and Calvert streets into two-way thoroughfares; and supporting commercial projects in Station North and Waverly.

The organization said it expects the $17.5 million, to be raised from a combination of private and public sources, to enable about $500 million in new private development, bring 3,000 families to the area and stabilize a set of neighborhoods in the city's core, building on past investments.

"There's a real sense of momentum here," said Ellen Janes, the executive director of the partnership, which represents 10 neighborhoods, including Station North, Charles Village, Oakenshawe and Remington. "We can have even more impact if we're very clear about what we want to achieve."

Since 2012, those neighborhoods have added about 265 rehabbed vacant buildings and 500 new housing units, including about 150 affordable homes, according to the report. The group wants to return about 590 more existing homes to occupancy and add about 2,150 new units by 2022.

"I was pleasantly surprised to find that we're more or less on track," said Charlie Duff, president of Jubilee Baltimore, a nonprofit developer that was the lead author of the plan and has several projects in the area.

Janes said she hopes to create a $10 million pool to subsidize projects. The organization, which has already received about $4.5 million in funding for the pool, would use some of the money to acquire properties and seek developers, she said.

The plan also includes measures to preserve affordability, as well as improvements to schools, public housing projects and assistance for current residents to renovate their homes. Money for some of those priorities already exists, which is why they are not funded through the plan, Duff said.

The Johns Hopkins University, one of the plan's backers, also intends to hire a firm to market the area to new residents, with implementation expected to cost $400,000.

nsherman@baltsun.com

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