Park Heights re­vi­tal­iza­tion goes on without de­vel­oper

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND | NATION & WORLD - — Natalie Sher­man

Bal­ti­more hous­ing of­fi­cials say they are try­ing a dif­fer­ent strat­egy in Park Heights af­ter ef­forts to find a strong pri­vate de­vel­oper to lead re­vi­tal­iza­tion there failed. Bal­ti­more Hous­ing Com­mis­sioner Paul Graziano said the city will work with the non­profit Park Heights Re­nais­sance to move for­ward on some projects, in­clud­ing the cre­ation of work­force hous­ing, to an­chor parts of the neigh­bor­hood. The city ac­quired and de­mol­ished hun­dreds of prop­er­ties in the neigh­bor­hood over the past decade, as­sem­bling a 62-acre area. City lead­ers hope to see it re­built with homes and other new con­struc­tion, and in March an­nounced in­ter­est in find­ing a pri­vate firm to serve as mas­ter de­vel­oper. Six firms re­sponded, but Graziano said of­fi­cials did not feel those firms had the ex­pe­ri­ence or fi­nan­cial where­withal to han­dle the job. He said projects with Park Heights Re­nais­sance are in the early plan­ning stages, with the hope of se­cur­ing part­ners and get­ting un­der­way in 2018. The city and the non­profit will work to get other de­vel­op­ers in­ter­ested in projects as well. “We’re not dis­cour­aged,” he said. “I think when peo­ple see that hap­pen­ing, and when peo­ple see the bal­ance of the clear­ance, which is mov­ing along very nicely, it will def­i­nitely change the ap­petite for in­vest­ing there.”

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