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A New Canvas for Baltimore: Eager Street Townhomes Bring Affordable Options to Historic Area of East Baltimore
The availability of attractive and affordable homes goes hand in hand with community revitalization. Through a Project C.O.R.E. award, an East Baltimore nonprofit will work toward providing new housing in an area of the city where it is greatly needed.
East Baltimore Development, Inc. was awarded $500,000 in Project C.O.R.E. funding for preparation of the site of the future Eager Street townhomes, starting along the 2000 block of the street. With this funding, EBDI plans to begin the remediation and infrastructure work necessary before construction can begin. Within three years, the site will be ready for the construction of 45 new homes, of which 10-15 percent will be affordable housing, to be offered to those who are eligible for HUD-subsidized rent. In FY 2016, EBDI also received $1.05 million in Strategic Demolition funds to clear space for Eager Park, a new 5.5 acre park located near the future townhomes in Baltimore City’s Middle East neighborhood.
Despite having become disinvested over time, this area is rich in history. Eager Street is the northern border of Baltimore’s East Monument Historic District, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. Dating back to the 1800s, the community was, for a time, the place the majority of Baltimore’s Czech immigrants called home. The bulk of the homes were built by these same immigrants, including noted Baltimore architect Frank Novak, who built many of the two-story row houses in the city that were designed for its working class. Although much of Baltimore’s Czech population has dispersed over the years, their influence is still very present in this area of the city.
The removal of the properties that have aged with time will help to bring a renewed vigor to the area. With its proximity to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and its School of Nursing, the new development will enable Baltimore City homebuyers to live, work, and play in the same area. Through a combination of good economic development principles and providing safer and more attractive homes, this new construction will entice people of all walks to come to Baltimore.
“A New Canvas for Baltimore” is a regular series covering Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise). Project C.O.R.E. will clear the way for new green space, new affordable and mixed use housing, and new opportunities for small business owners in Baltimore City. The initiative will generate jobs, strengthen the partnership between the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland and lead to safer, healthier and more attractive communities. For more information on Project C.O.R.E., visit http://dhcd.maryland.gov/ProjectCORE/.