Governor Larry Hogan Kicks Off Walbrook Mill Redevelopment at Project C.O.R.E. Celebration
Redevelopment Will Bring Affordable Housing, Retail Space to North Avenue Corridor
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today kicked off the redevelopment of Walbrook Mill in West Baltimore through Project C.O.R.E., and celebrated the recent milestone of more than 1,000 units of blight removed through the initiative. Project C.O.R.E., or Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise, is a multi-year city-state partnership to demolish vacant and derelict buildings in Baltimore and replace them with green space or redevelopment. The governor was joined by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt, City Councilman Leon Pinkett, Coppin State University President Maria Thompson, Coppin Heights Community Development Corporation (CDC) President John Bullock, and Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore (NHS) Executive Director Dan Ellis, as well as numerous local elected officials and members of the community.
“Just a few weeks ago, we surpassed the historic milestone of 1,000 units of blighted properties being removed,” said Governor Hogan. “A total of 1,154 decaying units, many without roofs or walls, have been demolished, and another 32 have been stabilized for reuse.
“Today, we are continuing that incredible success here at Walbrook Lumberyard, which – thanks to Project C.O.R.E. – will be transformed into a community hub that the residents of West Baltimore, the students, and staff at Coppin State University, and all Marylanders can be proud of.”
“The Walbrook Mill project is a prime opportunity to turn distressed properties along the North Avenue Corridor near Coppin State University into much-needed affordable and market rate housing, as well as retail and industrial space for workforce development,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “Thanks to Project C.O.R.E. demolition funds, developers can take their redevelopment projects from concept to reality as part of ongoing efforts to revitalize and strengthen Baltimore neighborhoods.”
“Under Governor Hogan’s leadership, we are creating new opportunities in areas that have seen significant disinvestment,” said Secretary Holt. “In a very short amount of time, Project C.O.R.E. has brought together public-private partnership at a level never before seen in Baltimore.”
Walbrook Mill, a five-acre abandoned lumber yard in close proximity to Coppin State University, will be redeveloped in phases, beginning with today’s demolition of a blighted warehouse building. Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore, partnering with Coppin Heights Community Development Corporation and Osprey Property Company, has received Project C.O.R.E. funding to prepare the site for the redevelopment. The plan for the site, at full build out, is to include approximately 140 affordable and market rate rental apartments and townhomes, 9,000 square feet of North Ave commercial and retail space, and includes the rehabilitation and reuse of approximately 32,000 square feet of existing lumber warehouse space to be dedicated to workforce development opportunities.
“As a Councilman representing West Baltimore as well as Chair of the Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, this is truly an auspicious occasion,” said John Bullock, President of the Coppin Heights Community Development Corporation. “Removing blight and infusing mixed income housing along with retail reflects the possibilities in previously neglected neighborhoods. The vision of Coppin Heights CDC is now coming to fruition and we look forward to replicating this model to spur vital community development.”
“NHS Baltimore is proud to partner with the Coppin Heights CDC, Osprey Property Company, and the community in the redevelopment of the former Walbrook Mill lumberyard,” said Dan Ellis, Executive Director of the Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore. “By working together with each partner bringing unique strengths to the project, transformative work for the benefit of community residents occurs. Support from Governor Hogan through Project C.O.R.E. has allowed this project to become reality.”
In addition to the kickoff of the Walbrook Mill project and celebrating the milestone of 1,000 blighted properties removed, Governor Hogan highlighted Project C.O.R.E.’s Fiscal Year 18 awardees, which includes 24 projects receiving nearly $15 million for demolition and redevelopment that will leverage approximately $269 million in additional private and nonprofit sector development. Projects include renovations to the historic Hoen Lithograph building, the removal of a vacant industrial laundry building to make way for the Mary Harvin Health and Wellness Center, and the stabilization of rowhomes across the street from the Western District Police Station. In total, Project C.O.R.E. has awarded more than $33 million for 65 projects, leveraging $570 million in nonprofit and private sector investments.
For more information about Project C.O.R.E., visit: http://dhcd.maryland.gov/ProjectCORE.