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A New Canvas for Baltimore: Housing on Henneman Avenue Complements Hoen Building Restoration

A New Canvas for Baltimore: Housing on Henneman Avenue Complements Hoen Building Restoration

Officials cut the ribbon on Henneman Avenue

On a brisk January day, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt joined partners from the city and the Housing Development and Neighborhood Preservation Corporation to celebrate the ribbon cutting for several historically rehabilitated rowhomes in east Baltimore. The recently remodeled homes are the first group to be rehabilitated out of approximately 20 blighted properties along Henneman Avenue that were acquired by the Housing Development and Neighborhood Preservation Corporation through Baltimore’s Vacants to Value program. The department provided $500,000 for the acquisition and pre-development of seven properties through the Community Legacy program and Governor Larry Hogan’s Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise) initiative.

The Housing Development and Neighborhood Preservation Corporation seeks to fully renovate the homes while preserving the historic architectural elements of the properties and modernizing the interiors for 21st century living. The basements of the homes will be excavated to add additional legal ceiling heights and more square footage, and new appliances will be installed. The properties will receive a historic tax credit from the city through the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation. A portion of the homes will target middle income earners and will be sold at below market prices.

The remodeled homes will provide housing opportunities that complement the renovation of the nearby Hoen Lithograph building. After sitting vacant for 35 years, local stakeholders launched efforts to redevelop and repurpose the grand, historic building to create a safe gathering place for the community. A local nonprofit, Strong City Baltimore, is already serving as the Hoen building’s main anchor tenant and providing services through their adult learning center. After full build-out, the Hoen building will offer additional businesses and services including a café, event space, a bookstore, and a workforce incubator that will offer job training and employment opportunities for community members. The department has provided $2.5 million in Project C.O.R.E. funding for the Hoen building’s renovation and stabilization of some neighboring vacant units, and the project has attracted more than $3.6 million in state investment.

Project C.O.R.E. is a multi-year partnership between the state and Baltimore City to eliminate vacant properties and blight to create green space and responsible, responsive community revitalization. The state has provided $75 million, which has helped facilitate the removal or stabilization of more than 4,000 blighted units. This historic investment has also been supported with more than $420 million in additional department financing for important projects which has leveraged an additional $1.8 billion in private, public, and philanthropic dollars.