Old fire station, loft building may become affordable housing


A former city fire station in the 100 block of North Paca Street and an adjacent five-story loft building may be recycled as part of a new affordable housing development planned by Associated Catholic Charities Inc.

Members of Baltimore's Architectural Review Board reviewed yesterday plans by the non-profit organization to rehabilitate and expand the city-owned properties at 106 to 122 N. Paca Street to contain 24 apartments for the elderly and up to 80 apartments in what would be Baltimore's third and largest "single-room occupancy," or SRO, building.

Aimed at low-income residents and increasingly popular in cities from New York to San Diego, SRO housing provides private living quarters with shared kitchen facilities and common areas.

The city has not officially awarded the project to Associated Catholic Charities but is working closely with the organization and will be seeking federal funding for the SRO component this summer.

Probst-Mason would be the architect for the project. Its plan calls for the 80 SRO apartments to be created inside the five-story loft building and for 10 elderly apartments to be created inside the fire station. Another 14 apartments for the elderly would be inside an in-fill building between the two main structures.

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