Named after the daughter of local property and business owner John Henry Keene, the Lauraville neighborhood in Baltimore exhibits a historic small-town charm, offering architecturally classic, quaint and cozy single-family homes.
Although there was some sparse development in the area along Harford Road during the late 18th century, the Lauraville neighborhood was largely built between 1910 and 1930 and is now a designated historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to Kenneth Lockie, president of the Lauraville Improvement Association, the Lauraville neighborhood has kept its historical integrity for more than a century, thanks to the socially and economically-diverse residents who have emphasized keeping most of the older homes in their original state.
"Even homes that were at one point converted to multiple rental units are being converted back to single dwellings," says Lockie.
Housing Stock --A majority of the houses in the Lauraville neighborhood fall into three categories --Victorians, colonials and bungalows. According to Joseph "Jody" Landers III, executive vice president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors, most Lauraville homes are affordable and priced between $200,000 and $250,000. "Most homes in the area have three bedrooms and are around the same size," says Landers. "However, there are a few larger, five-bedroom homes in the area that will sell for over $300,000."
Rentals --According to Landers, rental properties, although somewhat rare, can range from $600 to $900 a month for a portion of a house and $1,000 to $1,500 for an entire house. Prices, he says, will differ depending on the size and condition of the unit.
Crime --The neighborhood is very conscious of what Lockie calls "quality of life crimes," including thefts and burglaries.
"But I don't feel any less safe in Lauraville than I do in Federal Hill, Fells Point or Canton," says Lockie, who has lived in Lauraville for six years.
Deputy Major Melvin Russell of the Baltimore Police Department agrees that the majority of crimes committed in the neighborhood are non-violent. However, violent crimes were committed in Lauraville in 2007, including four homicides and 18 aggravated assaults.
Kids and Schools --Lockie says that while some families opt for charter schools, many youths in the neighborhood attend the area public schools. The neighborhood is served by Garrett Heights Elementary, Hamilton Middle, and W.E.B Dubois High School. These schools have not met Maryland State proficiency standards in reading or mathematics.
Shopping --The business district along Harford Road is the main source of shopping in the neighborhood. Proposals from three different developers to build retail and office space on a 25,000 square-foot property on Harford Road are currently under review by the Baltimore Development Corporation.
Transportation --Although most neighborhood residents travel by car, there are a few public transit options. There is metro access at nearby Morgan State University and there are bus stops on Harford and Echodale roads.
Dining In --The Safeway on Harford Road is the closest grocery store.
Dining Out --The restaurants along Harford Road offer many types of cuisine. While Chameleon Cafe offers fine dining with eclectic cuisine, places like Koco's Pub and the Alabama BBQ Company offer heartier fare in a more laid-back atmosphere.
Nightlife --Although Koco's Pub and the Chameleon Cafe are popular neighborhood hangouts, Lauraville doesn't have too active a nightlife. However, downtown bars and clubs are only a 15-minute drive away.
Recreation --Herring Run Park serves Lauraville and other communities in the area and offers cycle and walking trails, bird watching and fields for soccer and baseball.
Last September, the Lauraville Business Association operated its first Greater Lauraville Fair, where local businesses, vendors and artists sold food and crafts to the public. The second annual fair is planned for September.
LAURAVILLE BY THE NUMBERS
Houses on the market:
Lauraville: 8; Entire ZIP: 17
Average asking price:
* Average days on market:
*Information based on sales during the past 12 months, compiled by Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. Information courtesy of Tami Caggese, agent, of Coldwell Banker, location.