White House to honor developer of teacher housing

Thibault Manekin, who helped redevelop two old mills in north Baltimore as affordable housing for teachers, will be honored at the White House on Thursday as a Champion of Change.

The Champions of Change campaign is part of the administration's Make It in America campaign geared to help create high-quality jobs in the U.S. The champions initiative profiles Americans who are "doing extraordinary things in their communities working to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world," states the White House website http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions.

Manekin is being recognized for his work as co-founder of Remington-based Seawall Development Corp., which is redeveloping historic city buildings as office space for nonprofits and housing for teachers. Manekin, his father, Donald Manekin; and partner, Evan Morville, have already opened Miller's Court in Remington and Union Mill in Hampden. The latter opened last month.

"The best ideas come from the American people," the website states. "Everyone has a story to tell, everyone has a part to play."

Others selected include William Kellibrew IV, deputy director and national victims advocate for the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation; Sharon Stapel, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project; Johanna Orozco, a teen educator for the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center of Greater Cleveland; and Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest, social entrepreneur, speaker, author of eight books and chaplain of St. Augustine's at Vanderbilt University.

Manekin's most recent development in Baltimore is the $21 million Union Mill, at Union and Buena Vista avenues, a former cotton duck mill that now houses 56 apartments for teachers, priced for a starting teacher's salary. It also has 25,000 square feet of office space for nonprofits. It already has a waiting list of 200 people for apartments.

Union Mill includes a four-tiered courtyard, a resource center with copying machines and a fitness center; and a café is planned.

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